February 20, 2013 —
The Shohola Township Board of Supervisors is considering cutting ties with its ambulance provider, Pike County Advanced Life Support (ALS), due to “problems at scenes.” The news came as a shock to the ambulance service.
“I had no inkling of any problems,” Pike ALS representative Kyle Wright told supervisors at the February 14 meeting.
Township solicitor Jason Ohliger said, “There was one very troubling issue that should never have happened.” Neither he nor the supervisors elaborated on the problems they said had occurred.
Wright was taken aback by the news. “If there were any problems, I would have done something…. It’s kind of a shock to us. I feel blindsided by this,” he told the board.
The supervisors said they were notified of the incidents by credible Shohola firefighters.
“I’m very saddened by this,” Wright said, noting that his organization has worked with the township for about 10 years and has cut emergency response times “at least in half.”
At one point, board chairman George Fluhr said, “In my opinion, we have to make a change.” The board, however, eventually decided to table the matter for a month in order to gain more information.
If the township does decide to go with another provider, it would be Atlantic Ambulance, which has been operating in Pike County since 2011 and is a competitor of Pike ALS.
Contacted after the meeting, Wright said, “We are hopeful that we can remain the provider.” He also reiterated that this was the first he was hearing of any problems.
“I’m hoping that within the next week we can get a bulleted list [of the alleged problems] and we can answer them,” Wright said.
In other business, the supervisors received a letter from Westfall Township urging support for a proposed county-wide sales tax. The letter also was sent to PA State Senator Lisa Baker and Representative Michael Peifer, as well as other municipalities and the county commissioners.
The Shohola supervisors said the tax would be a burden and detriment to residents. “We’re not going to support sales taxes or income taxes,” said supervisor Keith Raser.
Ohliger also noted there is no guarantee that a county-wide sales tax would benefit Shohola.
Fluhr said the township will send a letter to Westfall saying Shohola is against the proposition.
In another matter, Aaron Robinson, a member of the township planning commission, told supervisors that Route 434 is experiencing increased truck traffic due to the weight limit placed on the bridge that spans the Upper Delaware River in Narrowsburg, NY. The limit for a single vehicle is now 15 tons, and the limit for a combination vehicle such as a tractor-trailer is 27 tons.
The increased truck traffic is a concern because Route 434 is a main artery and is in “deplorable condition,” Robinson said.
Fluhr agreed, saying, “[Route] 434 is disintegrating as we speak.”
The supervisors agreed to send letters to PennDOT and other organizations.