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Green Lane Ambulance Becoming Advanced Livesafers

The last basic life support ambulance company in the county will become an advanced life support company by the end of January, thanks to a partnership with medics from Harleysville EMS

On Jan. 29, a legacy will end in Montgomery County lifesaving.

Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane is the last remaining ambulance company in the county that operates as BLS, or Basic Life Support.

Soon, with a partnership with Harleysville Area Emergency Medical Services, Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane will be an Advanced Life Support company.

Harleysville Area EMS (Station 344) will partner a paramedic from its corps with an Emergency Medical Technician from Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane (Station 328) — therefore becoming ALS. Green Lane will also receive ALS equipment through Harleysville, according to Harleysville Area EMS Chief Don Lynch.

"Green Lane is a Basic Life Support — 2 EMTs or an EMT and a first responder. It's nowhere near the level of care of ALS," Lynch said. "By putting a medic on the truck and an ALS, we are bringing that squad up to par with the rest of the county."

By having a medic and and ALS equipment on board, Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane, under the direction of Chief of Operations Pat Feenstra, can now immediately start lifesaving treatment during emergency calls.

"They are pushing medications, doing intubations — which is putting a tube down an airway in case a patient is not breathing — and hooking them up with EKG machines to detect arrhythmias quicker," Lynch said. "They can be quicker in the field."

A BLS ambulance must wait for a neighboring paramedic unit to assist them on emergencies, Lynch said.

"By putting equipment on the truck, we are able to expedite the amount of time for a medic to come in. Treatment can take place right away," Lynch said.

BLS ambulance units can treat broken bones, sprained ankles and the like, he said.

"Anybody with chest pains, an active heart attack, an active stroke, trauma — that requires ALS and additional equipment and training for a medic to take care of," Lynch said.

In reality, all ALS ambulances are also BLS ambulances.

"Basic Life Support ambulances, over the years, have switched over to ALS," Lynch said. "Green Lane hasn't, up until now. The biggest reason is because they don't have the highest call volume in the county."

In 2012, Harleysville Area EMS responded to 1,957 calls. 

Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane responded to 689 calls in 2012, Lynch said.

It also costs quite a bit of money to pay for paramedics, as their salaries are higher than EMTs and their education in the field is higher than EMTs, he said.

"Cost factor is a very large part of if the squad is able to or not able to go to an ALS level," Lynch said.

. He said one Harleysville Area EMS medic will be assigned to a 12-hour shift with a Green Lane truck during the day, and one assigned to the same shift on a Harleysville Area EMS truck during the day. He said there is one medic per truck per 24-hour period.

Medics, he said, will rotate time spent with Green Lane. A full-time medic, he said, works three 12-hour shifts a week. A medic may do 12 hours at Green Lane, and 24 hours in other community ambulance corps, like Harleysville Area EMS.

"Our medics will be full time, still with Harleysville Area EMS. They will be assigned to a Green Lane truck and our ALS equipment, that belongs to Harleysville, will be placed on the Green Lane truck," Lynch said. "It will be licensed by the Department of Health as an ALS ambulance."

The renewed Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane ALS ambulance will be stationed at the Green Lane location at 209 Walnut Street. It will be a 24/7/365 service with an EMT and paramedic.

Harleysville Area EMS and Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane each have two ambulances  

Harleysville covers all of Lower Salford Township, a portion of Franconia Township and parts of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Lynch said.

Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane covers Green Lane Borough, Marlborough Township, and portions of Upper Salford Township, Salford Township, Upper Frederick Township and New Hanover Township.

Red Hill Borough is then covered by Upper Perk Ambulance.  

"I think it's unique that both organizations are partnering together to provide this service," Lynch said. "Both organizations are willing to reach their hands out to help the community provide the best service we can. This doesn't happen very often."  

A message was left for Feenstra for comment.

On Jan. 29, between 10 a.m. and noon, the new Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane ALS ambulance and equipment will be on display at 209 Walnut St., Green Lane.

Applications currently being accepted for part time Paramedics, please send application and resume to jfranklin@haems.org.

Community Ambulance Service of Green Lane can be reached at (215) 234-9160. Harleysville Area EMS can be reached at 215-513-1880. Emergencies call 9-1-1.

Phil McCracken January 24, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Maybe it would be a good idea to inquire as to whether Green Lane has reimbursed its neighboring EMS squads the several hundreds of thousands of dollars they are owed.......this article attempts to paint a "warm-n-fuzzy" outlook but those who are "in the know" are keenly aware that Green Lane continues to be a sinking ship. This is like putting a band-aid on an amputated leg.
Christopher January 24, 2013 at 03:04 PM
I'm glad as an EMT I am good enough to "treat broken bones, sprained ankles and the like", Don't forget were also "ambulance drivers"....how insulting, also Upper Hanover Township is covered by Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance NOT Green Lane or Harleysville, wish this hodge podge reporter could get their facts straight!!!
Tony Di Domizio (Editor) January 24, 2013 at 03:27 PM
This is from the Upper Hanover website: Ambulances • Upper Perkiomen Ambulance Assoc Website www.upperperkambulance.org • Bally Community Ambulance Assoc • Green Lane Community Ambulance Assoc Website www.greenlaneambulance.org
travis January 24, 2013 at 05:27 PM
WRONG!!! 328 has no first due area in Upper Hanover Township and NEVER has!
Tony Di Domizio (Editor) January 24, 2013 at 05:49 PM
We have left a message for Chief Pat Feenstra. Her comments will be added to the story.
Lisa Feenstra January 24, 2013 at 06:30 PM
328 does not have any first due coverage in Upper Hanover. They do have first due in portions of New Hanover Township. Phil I am not sure where you get your information from but i can assure you the Green Lane does not owe any of their surrounding squads "hundreds of thousands of dollars"
Tony Di Domizio (Editor) January 24, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Lisa - Thank you for the clarification. The story has been amended.
Johnny Knowledge January 24, 2013 at 07:01 PM
That's funny, I happen to know for a fact that there are approximately 9 squads in the surrounding area in which are owed large sums of money for past due ALS assist reimbursements, some of which date back at LEAST 3 years.
Daniel Ciabattoni January 24, 2013 at 09:42 PM
You might think your facts are true and concrete, they are not. Everyone owes someone something these days, get over it. So before you act like a child and point your filthy fingers at someone make sure you know the whole story, not just yours. You most likely gathered your information from rumors and here-say. Green Lane is trying to progress itself in the care of patients by becoming a higher level of care. If all you can say is that they owe money and that the reporter mixed up what areas Green Lane covers, then I urge you to remain quiet. If you have a problem with how they operate then I'd suggest you contact them before you start believing your own banter. Green Lane is providing a service to the community that for some reason you choose to ignore and look past. I congratulate you on your cowardliness by hiding behind a false names. As an employee of Green Lane I stand by what I say. Stop believing rumors and gossip. By Green Lane becoming ALS there will be some squads that are unhappy, that is unavoidable. Be an adult about how you go about certain situations.
Daniel Ciabattoni January 24, 2013 at 09:42 PM
And the fact that you say 9 squads are owed money is the equivalent to saying the USA owns Canada; complete stupidity. I, and many others, would like for you to point out exactly what squads are supposedly owed money and to please clarify what the amount of "large sums" equates to. If you are going to make accusations please include facts about said accusations. Also I would like to know if you even come in contact with Green Lane either in the field or through the administration side.
Johnny Knowledge January 24, 2013 at 09:59 PM
I am affiliated with a local squad which has had contact directly with your Organization. One of whom is owed money. I am directly aware of the billing records and know this factually that there are back payments owed. As for your list, Upper Perk, Gilbertsville, Souderton, Grandview Medics, Lower Frederick, Skippack, Trappe Ambulance, Bally Ambulance, and I imagine Harleysville as well. Your sums, Some are in the thousands of dollars. Some in the tens of thousands. I applaud the fact that Green Lane is bringing in some skilled providers, as there are some in which I would not want touching my pets. I wish all the best to the new direction, I know Mr. Lynch and am confident that he can help bail out the organization, however that does not make up for the short comings of past management.
Daniel Ciabattoni January 24, 2013 at 10:38 PM
I cant imagine that 328 owes Skippack, Trappe, and souderton thousands of dollars with what the figures, or lack there of, say. As I said before, if you have a problem cantact them directly. We all know in EMS that there needs to be a good working relation between squad and with that the problens will work out. But if you weaken that relation then no one will want to work with you. If you actually knew the full story about what and why you'd understand our management past and present is motthe issue. Again, as i said before, if you do not know the whole story remain silent or contact 328 directly. Heck, if you contact them direct you can have them give you my info and we can talk about this. Be an adult about it. So continue to be ignorant about what is really going one. You give me an abundance of confidence that our ems in the area is run and operated by such know-it-alls.
Jeffrey Owler January 25, 2013 at 03:31 AM
As a fellow EMS provider and employee of Green Lane, I urge you all to remember that we all need to act as a team, no matter what color shirt or ambulance you have. As all EMS providers know, the rumor mill runs crazy and I am sure these issues are not as drastic as they are being painted to be. The turnaround on ALS/BLS splits can range from weeks to months to even years. It all depends on insurance companies’ medical and auto alike. Being the Chief of an ambulance company before, I know about billing. I know that if there are splits owed, it takes time for the ever revolving door of billing to catch up which, it never does. This doesn’t include a self-pay patient who doesn’t pay their bills. That right there accounts for a large percentage of unclear split accounting. I would even go on to say that if there was a “large sum of money” owed, wouldn’t there be some kind of legal action taking place? All you people are doing is showing how unprofessional you are by degrading EMS services on a public forum. We have to fight hard enough as it is to keep our excellence and professionalism maintained.
Jeffrey Owler January 25, 2013 at 03:32 AM
In closing, I hope you all continue working as a team with any person you come in contact with. I am as skeptical as the next person here about what is happening but, I do know that this type of cooperative agreement has worked in the past and I am looking forward to being able to provide a higher level of care for the citizens of Green Lane and surrounding communities. I know there can be problems with crew members but I think that in order for it to be addressed, you need to follow the proper chain of command and have your reservations forwarded to the proper people. Nothing is going to change now that you have slandered the name of a company, in public, who has an employee who probably didn’t know that there was an issue and would love to be taught what they could have done better. As for me personally, if you ever have a problem with anything I do, please feel free to pull me aside and let me know. I have extensive training and experience and would love to know how I can better please your experience with me or my company. I have nothing but the up most respect for my coworker and EMS providers.

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