Friday, August 9, 2013

West Shore ALS Moves into SESB (News Chronicle Article 8/9/2013)

West Shore ALS moves to Emergency Services Building

Dan Harmon, a West Shore ALS paramedic, stands next to the paramedic unit outside the Shippensburg Emergency Services Building Wednesday. The West Shore ALS station just moved into the building Thursday, Aug. 1. | Photo by Curtis Garland

Staff Writer
Published: Friday, August 9, 2013 1:13 PM EDT
The local West Shore ALS station recently moved a few blocks to the Shippensburg Emergency Services Building after a longtime stay at the Shippensburg Township Municipal Building. The move does not affect their emergency medical care, according to West Shore EMS Executive Director Paul Christophel.

“Now, we have the ability to cohabitate with our emergency personnel,” said Christophel. “The only thing that has changed is the location.”

The West Shore ALS (WSALS) officially joined the Shippensburg Area EMS (SAEMS) and the Vigilant Hose Co. at the Emergency Services Building Aug. 1. West Shore’s paramedic unit – a Ford Explorer with advanced life support equipment – will occupy one of the garage bays facing East Orange Street. The station’s four paramedics – with one person on duty at a time – also have an office space that has living quarters.

The WSALS and SAEMS have been working together for years providing emergency medical care for the area but have never been housed under the same roof before.

“Our crews work so closely all the time,” noted Christophel.

The SAEMS provides basic life support while WSALS has paramedics for advanced life support.

Heather Franzoni, public relations officer for the SAEMS, was happy about the move.

“We were all for it,” Franzoni said. “Ultimately, our goal is patient care.”

She explained that the move should create a tighter bond between the two units since they will eat and talk with one another while waiting to be dispatched.

The former WSALS station was housed at the Shippensburg Township Municipal Building at 81A Walnut Bottom Road for about 22 years, according to Christophel.

“We’re really grateful to Shippensburg Township for all these years,” said Christophel.

West Shore EMS is a health care support system serving south-central Pennsylvania and is sponsored by the Sisters of Christian Charity. WSALS has two other stations in St. Thomas and Chambersburg.