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Pennsylvania Ambulance Service Faces Grim Future

An ambulance service in the Poconos is in danger of closing, but all that could change on Election Day.

The Barrett Township Ambulance Corps, in Mountainhome, is going through some hard times. The 20 man ambulance corps serves all of Barrett Township and is running out of money. Now it's looking for support from township residents, hoping they'll vote to increase their own taxes.

"And if we don't get the referendum, the ambulance corps will have to go away. We'll have to close up shop," said Carl Weiss, Corps Board President.

A "yes" vote on the referendum means residents in Barrett Township would pay an annual tax to help fund the ambulance corps. The tax works out to about $125 for the average household.

Officers with the Barrett Township Ambulance Corps said if the referendum is defeated, the corps will close and ambulances will come from neighboring Paradise Township.

"You really have to get to somebody having a heart attack in five to ten minutes and coming out of Tannersville, it takes you longer than that to get into the township. So it will mean a higher rate of mortality among our people who live here," said Weiss.

Some voters we talked with said although times are tough, they support the referendum.

"I think it's important to have an ambulance corps in Barrett Township. We're in a pretty densely populated area and it's important for the ambulance to get here on time," said Joshua Labar.

"I know it's bad timing for everybody, but I'm not sure what kind of service you will get if we got to be serviced from somebody out of the area. That's what I'm afraid of," said John Styk.

Voters in Barrett Township will have their say on Election Day, November 2nd.



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