To the Editor:

A large New Jersey based corporate ambulance (ALS/BLS) company is trying to come into the township which could push out the "Mom and Pop" advanced life support (ALS) company that the local residents and the local basic life support (BLS) companies have been happy with for a years. The local BLS squad has been given training and jobs. The Mom and Pop company works well with the local BLS squad and is more than willing to teach those who wish to further their skills, not intimidate them.

If the corporate company has a chance to come into the township, some EMTS and paramedics that reside in the township will be jobless. The big corporation may not hire them on. The big corporation will be responding from a farther distance than the Mom and Pop company making the wait for help longer. Once the big corporation (who I understand is already having financial difficulties) has pushed the Mom and Pop company out of the township and they realize there isn't a high call volume, they may back out of that township leaving the residents high and dry. This would once again cause serious delay in the patient receiving prompt care. The swift response of the Mom and Pop company has proven to be life saving. In several cases, if a few local residents in the township had to wait even 2 more minutes for advanced life support, their lives would have been majorly altered or ended.

There are patients that live in areas the big corporation now covers, received services, and are saying they are being charged so much more and they are having a hard time getting them to work with them with their bills. It has also been stated by some patients they were billed for services that were not performed. Compared to the local Mom and Pop company that will work with you with your bill. Honest .soft, compassionate billing, no leans, no courts. With paramedics and EMTSs that are well known professionally and personally in the community for the work they do and the endless hours they also volunteer. The high standards of the Mom and Pop company is truly here for patient care not the pocket!

If this big corporate company is allowed to do what ever they want to affect the local ambulance companies. (ALS and BLS), they may not wait for the local companies to respond or arrive on scene. They could load the patient an leave. This would cause financial harm to the local companies and force them to close their doors and reduce the proper level of care given.

When this corporate company first came into Pennsylvania from New Jersey they told other townships in Pike County they didn't want to "take over anyone," they just wanted to help out. But in the past year there have been many changes to the emergency medical services (EMS) in Pike County. They have gone from township to township asking them to give them larger coverage areas and this in turn pushed the Mom and Pop into struggling to pay their employees. These are employees that live in Pike County, pay taxes in Pike County and have shopped locally for many years. They do not take the hard earned monies from the residents to another state like would be done by this other corporate company. They stay right here in our own backyard.

The only way to help the Mom and Pop company survive and continue to provide fast, courteous, professional emergency health care, is for the township to designate the Mom and Pop company as the ALS company for the township.

Concerned citizen,

Jeff Phy