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Pennsylvania Communities Create Ambulance Share Agreement

WNEP– Four communities in the Wilkes-Barre area are joining together to provide what they hope will be better ambulance service.

Officials said this new agreement will cut down response time. Residents said it’s about time communities started working together.

Ken Vanderheggen knows in an emergency seconds count. His wife is a heart patient. That’s why he’s excited to hear that his hometown, Hanover Township, has joined three others in a new mutual aid agreement.

“I know if I call 911 she will get an ambulance no matter what. That’s important to me for her to have an ambulance,” said Vanderheggen.

Ambulance crews from Hanover Township, Plains Township, Wilkes-Barre, and Kingston, will all help each other answer calls during busy times.

“Partnership is what we need for emergency response. We’ve seen that since post 9/11 and we are just working towards that goal toward the future,” said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.

“We do around 3,000 calls a year. They (Wilkes-Barre Ambulance) do double what we do so we will be coming here more than they are coming to us but it’s great to know that if we are unavailable they will come over to us too,” said Kingston-Forty Fort Fire Chief Frank Guido.

“Now we have units that will arrive quicker. They know where they are going and have their outlined areas and the response time will be greatly improved,” said David Parsnik, the executive director of the Luzerne County 9-1-1.

“It’s about time we worked together. We can get some stuff done at least. It’s real good she’ll get the help she needs and if anything happens to me I’ll get help. That’s important,” added Vanderheggen.

The new agreement took effect Friday morning.

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