‘Beyond crisis mode’ in Pennsylvania suburbs; ambulance companies struggle to stay afloat

  • Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Published: 05/10/2019 12:00 AM

Keith Johnson could tell story after story about the vitriol he’s faced as EMS chief of Malvern Fire Company. “I had a gentleman literally in one breath thank me for my crew saving his daughter’s life," he said, “and in the second breath say: 'But your bill’s ridiculous, I’m not paying.’” In Berwyn, Fire Chief Eamon Brazunas has gotten scathing notes from folks upset about their ambulance bills because they wrongly assume that the service is free for taxpayers. In fact, ambulance companies throughout the suburbs rely on billing, donations and limited municipal support. Now, with their budgets increasingly strained, fire and EMS squads across the region are reaching out to the residents in their coverage areas, not to raise money or recruit volunteers, but to educate.


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