SPRINGFIELD >> The Community Ambulance Association of Ambler will be taking over Springfield Township’s ambulance responsibilities as of April 28.
During April 11’s board of commissioners business meeting, a 6-1 board vote terminated the Springfield Ambulance Association, and a 7-0 board vote hired the Community Ambulance Association of Ambler in its stead.
Springfield Ambulance has served the township since 1956, evolving from an all-volunteer outfit to a team of professionals. Officials said Ambler will rehire a number of Springfield Ambulance’s part-time paramedics and emergency medical technicians and will operate out of the township’s municipal complex.
“The ambulance will be staffed 24/7,” board President Jeff Harbison said. “We will see no change in our service save for the name on the ambulance.
“Thankfully, there’s plenty of jobs out there,” Harbison said. “We feel terrible about closing out Springfield Ambulance. We didn’t want anyone to lose their jobs.”
Springfield Ambulance has been losing money for several years and fell behind to the township for over $300,000. A difficult business environment driven by low insurance reimbursements has made the smaller ambulance associations a dying breed, officials said.
“Commissioners worked very hard to find a path forward for Springfield Ambulance including public support. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach agreement where we would have sufficient control to turn around the operation. Moving forward with Ambler will put us at far less financial risk in the future while ensuring the highest level of service,” Harbison said.
Officials said a modest amount of money will come through two more payrolls, but without a source of revenue after April 28, Springfield Ambulance will likely be unable to finance the debt owed to the township.
The township’s agreement with Ambler is for five years and will include a new ambulance, as well as annual support from the township “in the high five figures depending on a few variables,” Harbison said.
“The commissioners are grateful for the hard work of hundreds of volunteers and professionals of the Springfield Ambulance Association over the past 62 years,” Harbison said. “We welcome Ambler’s organization into our community and thank them for their willingness to serve.”