NEWBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Finding people willing to be EMS workers during an ongoing pandemic is not easy which is part of the reason Newberry Township in York County announced this month, it was losing its EMS.
However, after Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, that’s changed but the underlying issue is the same.
The Newberry Township board of supervisors has come to the decision to move forward with the interim agreement to have the UPMC Community Life Team take over services. However, staff shortages were a hot topic in this meeting.
EMS workers say it’s no secret that there’s a shortage when it comes to medical staff responding to emergency calls. First responders say they are overworked and staff says arguing while pointing fingers is unnecessary.
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“But you need to know what it’s like from an employee, six nights I did not see my children because I was working my butt off to cover for this Township,” an EMS worker said.
Deputy Chief Mark Knaub says the UPMC Community Life Team will step in yet agrees how nationwide there is an EMS shortage. Knaub believes the Community Life Team will provide top-notch service.
“This is a tough situation around for everyone we responded to a request for proposal for Newberry Township they had a need for an emergency services provider and UPMC Community Life Team is just doing its best to fill the need of the community,” Knaub said.
Newberry Township board of supervisors say they have been working tirelessly trying to find a provider. Supervisors argue that they were blindsided by the fire department about the shortage of EMS service workers and wished something was said sooner rather than later.
“You weren’t given any notice because we didn’t know,” Newberry Township Fire Chief Gary Hatterer.
“This is something that not only impacts the township but impacts the residents of the Township and it’s important to communicate with us that if we have a situation where we are not going to be able to provide an EMS service,” Mario Eckert said.
Board members say the UPMC Community Life Team emergency medical services will begin services Friday, October 1st.