COATESVILLE—Tower Direct moved Medic units out of Coatesville and the surrounding area and two units into Honeybrook and Elverson. This left several local governments off the main advanced life support (ALS) until several departments helped to fill the void.
Downingtown’s Minquas Fire Company, Coatesville’s Westwood Fire Company, and West Chester’s Good Fellowship Ambulance all undertake additional primary ALS coverage areas.
More than a dozen towns in Chester County and two towns in Lancaster County lost the 93rd Medic’s longstanding coverage of advanced life support systems in the area when Tower departed from western Chester County.
“There is no immediate solution other than relying on other ALS units in the area,” said Rep. Dan Williams (D-74) of Susbury.
Minquas recently commissioned an additional MICU (mobile intensive care unit) consisting of paramedics and EMTs. The unit is located at the Thorndale Fire Company after the two departments agreed to house ambulances. This unit covers her ALS major in Karun Township.
The Westwood Fire Company also deployed new units. The unit is housed in the Susburyville Fire Company and is a paramedic track vehicle primarily covering Susbury and parts of Lancaster County.
Good Fellowship Ambulance is also picking up additional coverage areas at existing MICUs on Route 322 in East Bradford. They currently have primary coverage in West Bradford and parts of Newlyn Township.
The acquisition of additional coverage areas by these three companies shows the burden that local EMS companies are now dealing with. Brandywine Hospital closed a few months ago, but crews are still coping with long transit times and waiting at other local hospitals strained by additional patient numbers.
County Commissioner Josh Maxwell There is an interested buyer for the former Brandywine Hospital site, but it is up to Tower Health to complete the sale. Until then, his EMS unit in West Chester County will have to deal with the strain of long transit times.
Meanwhile, first responders are stepping up to fill the gaps until a permanent solution can be found.
“911 centers constantly redeploy available medical forces, and this is still being done today. Incident Management Coordinator Chuck Freese said. For South Chester County. “This could include calling in medical personnel from surrounding counties to respond.”