MILFORD, PA ― The Pike County Commissioners and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director Tim Knapp recently provided a mid-year update on the County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Matching Grant program, which doubles a municipality’s annual EMS contribution up to a maximum of 2 mils.
The program was announced in July of 2021 during a public presentation at the Pike County Training Center and launched in January 2022. On a countywide scale, 2 mils equates to approximately $2.2 million. Combined with municipal funding the County match has created approximately 4.4 million for EMS in Pike County for 2022.
Municipalities participating in the program were required to submit an application informing the Commissioners of their 2022 contributions and detailing the increased services to be funded.
Following the receipt of funds, on a quarterly basis, municipalities must submit proof of payment showing how the county funds were spent.
To date, 12 of Pike County’s 13 municipalities are participating in the Emergency Medical Services Matching Grant program and have made improvements to their EMS programs.
Director of the Pike County Office of Emergency Management, Tim Knapp, attended the June 15, 2022, Commissioners Meeting to point out the positive impacts the matching program has had on EMS response for basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS) since the implementation of this program in Pike County.
Increased and expanded services are significant outcomes. For example, there is currently at least one transport unit in every municipality, with some areas having up to three transport capable units available.
· Lehman Pike EMS now operates 24 hours a day with paid Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support.
· Shohola Twp. Fire and Rescue operates paid BLS 12 hours a day from 6 am through 6 pm.
· Lackawaxen EMS added a paid BLS unit 80-hours per week out of the Greeley Station in addition to its already full-time unit out of the Bohemia Station.
· Milford Fire Dept. EMS offers paid BLS 12 hours a day, from 6 am through 6 pm.
· Dingman Twp. Fire Dept. EMS now offers 24-hour paid BLS out of 2 stations, one on Log Tavern Road and the other on Buist Road.
A notable result of the program’s expansion of services is the significant reduction in average call response time. OEM Director Knapp reports, “An incredible example is Shohola Township. In 2017, on average, it took 27 minutes to arrive on scene, from the time of dispatch. Now, in 2022, that time is 8.25 minutes. That is a significant reduction in response time.” This reduction is happening in all municipalities.
In addition to increased units and services within the county, there are numerous services originating outside county lines that are responding as part of mutual aid. This is especially important due to the steady increase seen in call volume each year. Two frequent responders are Lake Region EMS, originating from Hawley, PA, which has 24 hours paid BLS and ALS; and Port Jervis Ambulance Corp., originating from Port Jervis, NY, that offers 24 hours BLS and ALS.
An incredible example is Shohola Township. In 2017, on average, it took 27 minutes to arrive on scene, from the time of dispatch. Now, in 2022, that time is 8.25 minutes. That is a significant reduction in response time. This reduction is happening in all municipalities. - Tim Knapp, Office of Emergency Management director