Pike County Advanced Life Support, Inc.

Paramedics Bringing the Emergency Room to Your Door

Ambulance Services Visit Students at Wallenpaupack North Primary School

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On Wednesday, May 22, National Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, staff from Pike County Advanced Life Support (PCALS) & Tafton Fire Company Ambulance met with approximately 300 students at the Wallenpaupack North Primary School. In several small groups, students, grades K-4, were able to listen to stories about EMS, look at EMS vehicles and equipment and ask paramedics and EMTs questions. All of the students who participated received an EMS-themed coloring book and crayons. This event is one of many activities sponsored by area EMS agencies in celebration of National Emergency Medical Services Week, May 19th – May 22nd.

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Rain Doesn’t Stop Open House Event

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On Sunday, May 19th, rain and clouds didn’t hamper the Tafton Fire Company and Pike County Advanced Life Support (ALS) Open House Event at the Tafton Fire House on Route 507 in Palmyra Township. The event, held to celebrate the start of National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, allowed the public to interact with EMS providers, view EMS equipment and watch demonstrations. Free food and giveaways were also provided to the public. This event was part of several public events marking EMS Week, May 19th-25th

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President Obama signs EMS Week Proclamation

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In every corner of our country, emergency medical services (EMS) practitioners are hard at work delivering hope and care to Americans in dire circumstances. In the face of chaos and tragedy, their steady hands provide vital, life-saving services, and their calm under pressure delivers comfort to neighbors in need. During Emergency Medical Services Week, we pause to offer our gratitude to these remarkable men and women, whose dedication is fundamental to our society’s well-being.

In recent weeks, we have again seen the critical role EMS professionals play in times of crisis. When explosives went off at the Boston Marathon, EMS personnel rushed toward the blasts and, with selfless disregard for their own safety, immediately tended to the injured. Alongside countless volunteers and ordinary citizens, they demonstrated the very best of the American spirit — a spirit that EMS professionals display every day. My Administration remains dedicated to providing these courageous first responders, emergency medical technicians, 911 dispatchers, law enforcement officers, volunteers, and others throughout our health care system with the support they need to aid the American people in their darkest hours.

When Americans find themselves in times of crisis — from car accidents to national tragedies — our robust network of EMS professionals ensures that quality medical care is only moments away. This week, let us recommit to supporting EMS personnel and thanking them for their heroic contributions to our lives.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 19 through May 25, 2013, as Emergency Medical Services Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this occasion by sharing their support with their local EMS providers and taking steps to improve their personal safety and preparedness.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


Tafton Fire Company & Pike County ALS to hold EMS Week Open House

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On Sunday, May 19th, Tafton Fire Company and Pike County Advanced Life Support (ALS) will celebrate the start of Emergency Medical Services Week by holding an Open House Celebration from 10 am until 5 pm.  The event will take place at the Tafton Fire Company on Route 507 in Palmyra Township. Activities include, tours of the ambulances and paramedic vehicles, CPR training, public information, and giveaways for children. Free food and beverage will be also be available.   Tafton Fire Company Ambulance and Pike County ALS provide emergency ambulance service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the residents and visitors of the greater Lake Wallenpaupack area.

If you have any questions about the event or either service please contact the fire house at (570) 226-4273 or email info@pikeals.org.

Motorcycle Accident on Route 6

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image1On May 15, 2014 at 15:01 hours Pike County Advanced Life Support, Pennsylvania State Police and the Milford Fire Department & Ambulance were dispatched by the Pike County Communications Center for a motorcycle accident involving another vehicle on Route 6 in Dingman Township. A helicopter was initially placed on standby and then later cancelled.  The accident that occurred in the area of Buist Road resulted in one male with minor being transported to the hospital by Milford Ambulance with a Pike County ALS paramedic onboard. PA State Police investigated the incident.

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Governor Corbett Proclaims May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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motorcycleHarrisburg – With the increasing popularity of motorcycling in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Corbett has signed a proclamation commemorating May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. “More people are traveling Pennsylvania roadways on their motorcycles, but it’s important that riders and motorists alike are sharing the road safely,” Corbett said. “If car, truck and motorcycle operators follow simple steps like looking out for each other and obeying speed limits, we can work together to reduce the number of crashes and highway deaths we see each year.”Last year in Pennsylvania there were 854,493 licensed motorcyclists, a 13 percent increase from a decade ago, and 409,017 registered motorcycles, 54 percent higher than a decade ago. PennDOT data shows there were nearly 4,000 crashes involving motorcycles statewide last year, resulting in 210 fatalities. This marks an increase from 2011 when there more than 3,600 crashes involving motorcycles and 199 fatalities in those crashes.

Motorcycle safety was emphasized with Corbett’s signing of Act 84 of 2012, which requires motorcycle permit holders under 18 years old to take and successfully complete the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program’s (PAMSP) Basic Rider Course (BRC) in order to receive their license.

The 15-hour BRC consists of five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience. The course provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective
gear. The 15 hours of training count toward the required 65 hours of training a permit holder under 18 must complete in order to receive their license.

The PAMSP offers a variety of training to help develop safe riding skills for all motorcyclists, no matter how experienced or inexperienced the rider. The courses include: the six-hour Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2); the eight-hour Advanced Rider Course (ARC); and the 12-hour 3-Wheeled Motorcycle  Basic Rider Course (3WBRC). (PennDot)

To help promote safety and communication among the members of the motorcycling community, PennDOT offers an interactive website designed specifically for motorcyclists: www.livefreeridealive.com. The
website challenges riders to take personal responsibility for their own safety and offers an open forum for riders to share experiences. They can also promise to be safe riders by taking the “Be One Less” pledge.

For more information on motorcycle rider training or to schedule a course, visit www.pamsp.com or call 1-800-845-9533, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and noon.

Mock Car Accident Educates WAHS Students

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On Friday, April 26, 2013 the Wallenpaupack Area High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) presented a mock drunk-driving car accident to educate fellow high-school students about the dangers of drinking and driving.  This event, held two days before Senior Prom at the school was viewed by approximately 400 students. The real-life scenario showed a mock two-vehicle accident, mock injuries to well-known students including the homecoming queen and school athletes, response and treatment by emergency service personnel and a mock arrest of a student.  Emergency service agencies that participated included Pike County Advanced Life Support (PCALS), Tafton Fire Company, Hawley Fire Department, Lehigh Valley MedEvac, Pennsylvania State Police and the Pike County Coroner.  First Assistant Chief of the Tafton Fire Company and PCALS Emergency Medical Technician, Michael Cozza said, “The students were very receptive to the demonstration and he hopes that by actually seeing the terrible things that could happen if someone drives intoxicated – they won’t do it.” PCALS Director of Operations, Kyle Wright reiterated Cozza by stating “One ounce of prevention goes a long way and if we can save one life, prevent one accident or avert one student from making a poor decision this demonstration was completely worth it”.  The school holds the SADD demonstration every two to three years.

Photo Credit: Wallenpaupack Area High School

Photo Credit: Wallenpaupack Area High School


WAHS Emergency Responder Club Visits With Pike County ALS

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On Wednesday, April 17th, students part of the Wallenpaupack Area High School’s Emergency Responder Club visited with Pike County Advanced Life Support, Tafton Ambulance and Lackawaxen EMS at the Tafton Fire Company on Route 507 in Palmyra Township, Pike County. Students learned about training, equipment and careers in Emergency Medical Services. Students also learned how to treat several emergencies including bandaging of wounds, splinting of extremities and relief choking. Started in late 2010, the Wallenpaupack Area High School Emergency Responder Club hopes to inspire students to both consider volunteering and pursuing a career in emergency services

Community Health Study Input Needed

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Wayne Memorial Hospital and Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers have launched a comprehensive study to determine the most critical unmet health care needs throughout Pike and Wayne Counties and the Carbondale area in Lackawanna County.  The study will analyze needs and associated priorities for seven different communities. The public is encouraged to participate in this effort to help determine the future direction of health care services and delivery on a local basis.

Entitled the 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment for Pike and Wayne Counties and Carbondale, Pennsylvania, the study will analyze statistical data from a variety of sources and, as importantly, gather and analyze public opinion on community needs.  The study includes an internet survey, conversations with key community and health care leadership and people receiving care at Wayne Memorial Family Health Center sites.

The internet survey, which is available to all community residents and takes about ten minutes to complete, can be accessed at


The link will be active until March 31, 2013.

The project is guided by an ad hoc committee chaired by Lee Oakes, president of the Wayne Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and composed of representatives from the hospital and health centers, Pike and Wayne Counties and the Carbondale community; the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health; PPL, Inc.; Wayne and Pike County school districts; United Ways; Chambers of Commerce; elected officials; businesses; clergy; and, financial institutions. Technical assistance is provided by HMS Associates of Getzville, NY, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in rural health.

Completion date for the study is June 30, 2013 and the final product will be made available to the general public via Wayne Memorial Hospital’s web site at www.wmh.org.  A similar study, completed in 2009 is currently available on the same website.  That study heightened awareness of the most urgent health care needs at the time in Wayne and Pike counties and provided valuable data used to secure grants to answer some of those needs. Included in those successes were the establishment of a new behavioral health clinic and dental clinic in Lords Valley and an expansion of the Honesdale Family Health Center, both currently under construction. (Wayne Memorial Hospital)

Pike County ALS Subscription Drive Under Way

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This week, Pike County Advanced Life Support (PCALS) will be mailing subscription notices throughout Pike and Wayne counties as part of their annual subscription drive. Annual fees are $30 for an individual, $50 for a couple, and $70 for a household, but the benefits are exceptional.

As a subscription member, you will not be billed for balances owed on services that are partly covered by your insurance carrier, including co-pays and deductibles (with the exception of deductibles mandated by Federal Law). In other words, you are not responsible for whatever fees are not covered by your insurance, unless Federal Law mandates you pay.

President Mary Lou Corbett stated, “Unfortunately we have to bill our patients, but our annual subscription drive allows participants to be protected from a large ambulance bill. The subscription drive also helps offset the cost of providing such high quality paramedic services.”

Without their dedicated staff and volunteers, many sick and injured people in Pike and Wayne Counties would suffer from lack of advanced emergency treatment before arriving at a hospital. Fortunately, since 2003, PCALS has been providing advanced life-saving support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2012 alone, PCALS responded to nearly 1,400 emergency calls with state-of-the-art technology, including 12-lead EKG machines, cardiac defibrillators, external pacemakers and bone drills.

Pike County ALS works with local ambulance services, which provide pre-hospital care to critically ill and injured patients in the absence of advanced life support. Local ambulance services provide basic life-saving treatment like oxygen administration, splinting and transportation, but do not include cardiac monitoring, medication administration or invasive skills such as IV therapy and surgical airways.

Pike County Advanced Life Support is a not-for-profit organization comprised of volunteer Board members, volunteer fundraisers and paid paramedics and EMTs. For more information on Pike County Advanced Life Support or how to become a subscription member, please visit www.pikeals.org or call (855) 745-3257.