Tuesday, October 15, 2019


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Upper Perk Ambulance Providing Growth in Service
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor

            It was sixty years ago, in April of 1947, that the Upper Perkiomen Valley Community Ambulance Association (UPVAA) ordered its' first ambulance – a 1948 Buick purchased from Chapel automobile

dealer Paul S. Spaar for about $6,000.

            It would take a little more than a year before the ambulance arrived and was put into service.

            It all began in 1944 when the Upper Perkiomen Valley Lions Club adopted a project to raise $5,000 towards the purchase of an ambulance and provide service to the region.  The agreed that the project would be done in cooperation with the Upper Perkiomen Valley Community Chest.

            Directors of the Community Chest agreed to contribute about $3,000 towards the funding of the new ambulance.  Representatives from the two organizations officially formed the Upper Perkiomen Valley Community Ambulance Association (UPVA) in December of 1944.

By spring of 1947, they had enough money to order the ambulance.  The final cost of the fully equipped ambulance was $7,300.

The organization has grown from simple transportation to the hospital, to the extensive care given through advanced life support provided by today's emergency medical services.

            Recently, through the help of a Pennsylvania Emergency Management Grant of $750,000, the UPVAA has made many upgrades to emergency equipment and vehicles including two new ambulances, three new litters, three new heart monitors, and a station generator.

On Tuesday night, the group's board of directors honored State Senator Bob Mensch for his efforts in helping to secure the grant.  The training room of the UPVAA's headquarters was officially named the Senator Robert Mensch Training Room.  Prior to his work as a State Representative and Senator, Mensch served as president of the organization.

Also on Tuesday, the group recognized QNB for their support of the UPVAA by dedicating the conference room in their headquarters to the local financial institution.  UPVAA Treasurer Ed Buchenski commended QNB on their cooperation, customer loyalty, and willingness to work with the organization over the past few years.

Mensch and QNB have played a pivotal role in the recent growth of the emergency medical services group.

In addition to the two 2017 Ford Braun ambulances recently put into service, a third new Ford Braun is expected to be put into service later this year.

The LifePak 15 heart monitors replace LifePak 12 models purchased about 10 years ago.  According to Chief Keith Long, "In addition to modern transmission capabilities to hospitals, the new, state-of-the-art monitors are equipped with a rainbow cable that can also check the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in patients."

The 125K emergency generator will automatically power the building in the event of an outage and could allow the entire facility to be used as an evacuation point for community emergencies.

UPVAA President Bob Eisenhart said that the emergency medical service group responded to more than 1,400 calls last year and is proud of what they've accomplished and looking forward to continued community support.

            The group will soon be starting up their 2017 membership drive and becoming or renewing your membership to the UPVA is needed and appreciated.

            Insurance coverage for expenses caused by any illness or injury is still a concern to many people.  While the Affordable Care Act and Medicare have brought the number of people lacking health insurance to historic lows, the impact of the limited amounts paid to Emergency Medical Service organizations is rarely publicized.

            Medicare's maximum coverage of about $400, along with many insurance companies capping their coverage for emergency medical service at $800 or less, leaves patients on the hook for care that costs between $1,200 and $1,600. 

            The cost to maintain that equipment and provide round-the-clock advanced life support emergency medical service is expensive, ongoing and never-ending.  Mandated improvements to medical and communications equipment add to those expenses. 

            Your membership to the UPVAA will help them to help you and, perhaps, save you from added insurance coverage shock for an uncovered expense.





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