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Swoyersville Opens 2 Proposals For Ambulance Service In 2019

December 4, 2018

SWOYERSVILLE — Acknowledging “volunteerism is dead,” the president of the volunteer-run Swoyersville Community Ambulance on Monday night signaled the end of the organization after council opened two proposals for ambulance service in 2019.

Swoyersville Community Ambulance did not enter a proposal.

The lone proposals came from the Kingston Fireman’s Community Ambulance and Trans-Med. Council is expected to pick a proposal at a special meeting next Monday.

“We can’t compete with Trans-Med. We can’t compete with Kingston,” said Wendy Specht, president of Swoyersville Community Ambulance.

The borough had sought proposals after last month terminating its agreement with Swoyersville Community Ambulance following repeated issues with its reliability in being available for calls.

Specht, a local registered nurse, acknowledged the volunteer outfit struggled with staffing and couldn’t always staff the ambulance around the clock. But the organization did the best it could, she said.

Now, the group will fold and sell its vehicles and equipment, Specht said.

“We’re done. We want to thank the residents for all their support. We were proud to serve them for over 70 years,” she said.

Specht said the organization was entirely self-funded, including a donation drive every January. Residents who donated were not charged extra for ambulance transits over what their insurance paid, she said.

She doubts that will be the case going forward and people will be billed the remainder of what the insurance doesn’t cover.

Details about the proposals from Trans-Med and Kingston Fireman’s Community Ambulance were not revealed on Monday night.

Trans-Med, which already was first due in the borough for advanced life support calls requiring paramedics, has been the first-due for basic life support calls since Swoyersville Community Ambulance was removed.

Luzerne, where Trans-Med is based, and Wilkes-Barre Twp. also use the company as the primary service for basic life support calls. Luzerne, Wilkes-Barre Twp. and Plymouth use Trans-Med for advanced life support calls.

Kingston Fireman’s Community Ambulance responds to all calls in Kingston, Forty Fort and Pringle.

Contact the writer:

bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2055, @cvbobkal

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