BERWICK — Geisinger announced this week that Berwick Area Ambulance Association (BAAA) intends to merge with Geisinger’s West Shore Advanced Life Support Services Inc., which currently includes Danville Ambulance Service and Holy Spirit EMS, a Geisinger affiliate.
Representatives from the organizations agree that the merger, once approved by the state Attorney General’s Office, will help them provide better emergency care for the region and support the local ambulance service’s presence well into the future.
“This partnership positions us to continually improve our quality and breadth of services in ways that we could not do independently,” said Chuck Humphrey, EMT, member of the BAAA board. “We’re very excited to join this outstanding organization and work more closely with our colleagues from Geisinger.”
Under the new agreement, Berwick Area Ambulance will continue its current mission and services. Operations in Berwick and the areas served by its satellite stations will continue unchanged, and the team will continue its active relationships and linkages with regional hospitals, nursing homes, EMS, police, fire and all others involved in the health care and protection of the community. Geisinger will provide medical direction.
Berwick Area Ambulance Association employs 64 people, all of whom will be offered employment in their existing roles as Geisinger employees. A local manager will be hired to focus on improving care, quality and operations, as well as to thoroughly assess BAAA’s range of assets and equipment.
“We are working with the clinical and support staff to ensure a smooth transition for the existing employees,” said Paul Christophel, executive director of Holy Spirit EMS. “Berwick Area Ambulance Association has a great reputation for providing quality service, and it’s our goal to secure its future sustainability.”
The association operates eight ambulances, three wheelchair vans, one utility vehicle and one special event trailer. Services offered include emergency medical services, non-emergency medical services, Advanced Life Support (ALS), Basic Life Support (BLS), routine medical transportation and EMS billing services.