Local first responders step up to fill void left by Tower Health – Daily Local
COATESVILLE—Tower Direct has relocated their Medic units out of Coatesville and surrounding areas and moved their two units to Honey Brook and Elverson. This left multiple municipalities without primary Advanced Life Support (ALS) coverage, until several departments stepped up to help try to fill the void.
Minquas Fire Company of Downingtown, Westwood Fire Company of Coatesville and Good Fellowship Ambulance of West Chester have all taken on additional primary ALS coverage areas.
Upon Tower’s departure from western Chester County, more than a dozen towns in Chester County and two towns in Lancaster County lost Medic 93’s coverage of their longstanding Advanced Life Support units in the area.
“There are no immediate solutions other than relying on the other ALS units in the area,” said state Rep. Dan Williams, D-74th, of Sadsbury.
Minquas has recently placed into service an additional MICU (Mobile Intensive Care Unit) which consists of a Paramedic and EMT. This unit is being stationed at the Thorndale Fire Company after the two departments came to an agreement to house the ambulance there. This unit will have primary ALS coverage in Caln Township.
Westwood Fire Company also has placed into service a new unit. This unit is a Paramedic chase vehicle that will be housed at the Sadsburyville Fire Company and will have primary coverage in Sadsbury and part of Lancaster County.
Good Fellowship Ambulance is also picking up additional coverage area with an already existing MICU that is located on Route 322 in East Bradford. They will now have primary coverage in part of West Bradford and Newlin Townships.
These three companies picking up the additional coverage area shows the strain that local EMS companies are dealing with currently. Brandywine Hospital closed several months ago, and crews are still dealing with long transport times and waits at other local hospitals that are also strained due to the additional patient loads coming in.
County Commissioner Josh Maxwell there are interested buyers for the former Brandywine Hospital site, but it is up to Tower Health to get the sale done. Until then, EMS units in Western Chester County will have to deal with the strain of those long transport times.
Meanwhile, first responders are stepping up to fill the gaps until a permanent solution is found.
“The 911 Center will consistently reposition available medic units at all times — which they’ve been doing even today — to try and keep ALS units in as close proximity as possible to the population for best response,” said Chuck Freese, emergency management coordinator for Southern Chester County. “This may even include calling in medics from surrounding counties for responses.”