Pennsylvania county may face longer emergency wait times amid ambulance service changes

Tower Health has announced Western Chester County will lose services provided by Medic 93 EMS in September.

This comes months after two hospitals servicing the county closed their doors.

The medical group said in a statement that they are consolidating Medic 93 EMS from four locations down to two in September. The new locations will focus on a service area around Reading, Northern Chester and Montgomery counties, and the 422 corridor.

This change in service means TowerDIRECT will no longer work out of three units in Western Chester County that provide Advanced Life Support to about ten different municipalities: the former Brandywine Hospital, the Washington Hose Fire Department (FD) and Keystone Valley FD in Parkesburg.

The Chester County EMS Council says that leaves those municipalities, like Coatesville, in a scramble to find a new agency in 90 days, mid-budget cycle.


If Coatesville cannot find a new agency by the fall, if someone calls 911 with a medical emergency, paramedics will have to come from other municipalities that are already stretched too thin.

"That would be coming from a distance from what they are used to receiving when there was a paramedic unit stationed at Brandywine Hospital, says Chester County EMS Council Vice President, Matthew Eick. "It may be a paramedic from West Chester or Downingtown."

Eick says while Western Chester County will feel the immediate impacts, county EMS services as a whole fear having to make more tough decisions as their costs grow, but their revenue doesn’t.

"To say EMS is facing a crisis sounds dramatic, but it’s also very accurate," he says. "There’s no way the other agencies throughout Chester County aren’t starting to see these same financial difficulties."

In a statement, Tower Health said in part:

"We will work to transition coverage of Advanced Life Support to other local responders within the municipalities affected by this change. We will work closely with Chester County Department of Emergency Services to ensure a smooth transition of Advanced Life Support services."