Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps strives to provide 24/7 coverage but lacks municipal funding


Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Facebook photo

The Board of Directors of Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps has issued the following statements regarding ambulance coverage and the status of our organization:
There has been recent talk that DTVAC is not providing service to our residents. This is false. Although we are unable to provide 24/7 coverage, we currently are producing the same, if not greater coverage to our residents as other neighboring agencies provide to theirs. Several ambulance services in Pike County do not operate 24/7. In fact, since 2017 DTVAC has been responding to hundreds of more calls per year than usual because of the lack of emergency medical services in other municipalities. When we cannot utilize paid staff, we do our best to use volunteers to provide coverage. DTVAC strives to provide 24/7 ambulance coverage to the residents and visitors of Pike County, however, due to lack of municipal funding, we are not able to operate 24/7. We are a combination volunteer and paid service that runs primarily on insurance reimbursements and private donations, but it is not enough to cover the “cost of readiness” (i.e., 24/7 paid personnel operations).
Over the past month, our organization has made several changes including appointing new Board Members, increasing billing rates, improving processes and policies, and reducing expenses including ambulance staff. Our annual subscription drive was recently mailed, and we encourage area residents to subscribe. In the coming year, we hope to increase revenue from billing, municipal contributions, and fundraisers, as well as increase the number of volunteers. Our staff and volunteers are committed to providing the best possible emergency medical services to Delaware Township and Pike County as a whole.
In addition to basic life support, our organization provides advanced life support level, the highest level of service a ground ambulance company can provide. We have provided this service part-time since 2017 and continue to grow our weekly hours with this service every year. Besides Delaware Township, we are forced to provide this coverage to Dingman Township, Blooming Grove Township, Shohola Township, Milford Borough, Milford Township, and Westfall Township. All of these municipalities excluding Delaware Township do not contribute to our organization. We hope to be able to keep providing this critical service to the residents of Pike County, however, without financial support from area municipalities this will be impossible. Further, currently, we do not believe the proposal of some municipal leaders of allocating funding for local public safety to a national healthcare entity is an appropriate course of action. We hold the firm idea fire, police, and ambulance services should remain locally controlled and funded.
24/7 coverage can be obtained if municipalities provide the appropriate funding. Over the past two years, Delaware Township Board of Supervisors has had an ambulance line item allocation. We acknowledge that due to previous mismanagement Delaware Township was unable to issue us our yearly Budget Line Item of approximately $53,000 in 2018. For us to appropriately provide 24 hours a day 7 day a week Basic Life Support (BLS) coverage, we need the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors to move forward with appropriating this line item to us at their next meeting.
DTVAC is in need of volunteers in both emergency response, administrative, and fundraising roles. You do not need medical experience or an existing EMT certification to volunteer. To find out more information about becoming a volunteer, please contact us at our ambulance building, 570-828-2345. For questions about becoming an emergency response volunteer, please ask for Lt. Will, for administrative and fundraising volunteer inquiries ask for Membership Committee Chairman, Phyllis Chekenian. Also, persons interesting in volunteering can come to the ambulance building at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month to start the process of volunteering. If you are unable to volunteer and would like to help — contact your local elected officials and urge them to help financially support Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corp. to serve you and your fellow residents better. If you have any questions or concerns about our organization, please feel free to call us at 570-828-2345 or email us at info@dtvac.org.
Board of Directors
Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps