Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County to Begin Providing 911 EMS Ambulance Service
Publicly funded municipal authority to replace Northwest EMS
After a two-year process of study, public meetings and planning, the Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County (MESA; pronounced māy-sah) on Feb. 4 will begin providing 911 emergency medical ambulances services in Northwest Lancaster County previously provided by Northwest EMS. MESA is a first-of-its-kind regional municipal authority in Pennsylvania formed to address the region’s emergency medical services crisis.
Like so many EMS agencies, Northwest EMS was facing insolvency due to insufficient revenue and rising costs. MESA is a new publicly funded municipal authority formed to replace Northwest EMS and ensure that 911 ambulance service is available to member municipalities on a sustainable basis. MESA’s founding member municipalities are Conoy Township, East Donegal Township, Elizabethtown Borough, Marietta Borough, Mount Joy Township and West Donegal Township.
“Municipalities are responsible for many things including recreation facilities, police services, stormwater management and snow removal to name a few,” said MESA Board Chair Debra Dupler. “In Pennsylvania, municipalities are also required by law to ensure the provision of emergency medical services. In the tradition of Northwest EMS, MESA looks forward to continuing to provide outstanding 911 EMS service and 24/7 readiness to respond to EMS calls in the region.”
Unlike ambulance agencies that generate revenue through voluntary contributions, which leaves them deeply underfunded, MESA will charge property owners and employers in member municipalities a mandatory annual fee to fund its operations and ensure 24/7 readiness to respond to EMS calls. The first annual fee bills to property owners and employers will be arriving by mail in mid-February.
Benefits to residents of MESA member municipalities include: No residual bills for EMS services if the patient’s insurance pays; 50 percent off EMS bills if the patient does not have insurance coverage; and 50 percent off EMS bills if the patient’s payment applies to an insurance deductible.
“Northwest EMS is tremendously grateful for the community’s partnership through the years,” said Scott Kingsboro, authority manager for MESA and formerly executive director of Northwest EMS. “We look forward to serving the community with the same outstanding service for which Northwest EMS is known as we proudly wear a new uniform. And just as it was for Northwest EMS, health and safety education and community outreach events will continue to be an important part of our mission.”
For more information about MESA including frequently asked questions, visit mesalancasterpa.gov.