Seneca Area EMS moving in right direction
A room full of toys waiting to be given away and a new truck are signs that Seneca Area Emergency Medical Services again is on the rise.
The nonprofit company serves Sharpsburg, where its main office is located; Indiana Township, where is has a satellite office; and Etna.
Since filing for bankruptcy in 2006, company officials also have dealt with theft charges that were filed against the former business manager, Sunshine MacIntyre. She was charged with theft and access-device used to obtain property of services last year after being accused of stealing $77,000 from the service.
MacIntyre, pleaded guilty to both charges, is paying restitution as a result of the charges, and the company now enforces a policy that the chief and assistant chief must sign all checks.
However, the nonprofit has been making steady payments to the Internal Revenue Service related to its bankruptcy and has reduced its debt to a manageable level, Susan Allison, the company's chief, said.
“We've managed to pay off a majority of our old debts,” Allison said.
By re-establishing credit and getting its finances in order, the company was able to buy a 2013 Ford chassis with a refurbished ambulance box this year. Seneca, with 15 employees, now has a total three trucks.
Allison said the improvements have led the service to expand its presence in the community.
“We're trying to get out into the community for nonemergency events,” Allison said.
One of those efforts will be a “toy bash” fundraiser scheduled for Nov. 23.
Sherri Carricato, office manager, has been the principal organizer of the event. She said she wanted the company to host something different to benefit the community.
“The community has helped us out so much in the past couple years and even before then. I want to do something to give back to them,” Carricato said.
Among the toys that will be awarded are bicycles, Lego sets, an American Girl doll and a train set. The company has been collecting toys for several months. Guests will receive a ticket that lists toys that will be awarded every 10 minutes.
Allison said the company's board, which includes representatives from the communities it serves, has been helpful in keeping the organization going.
“We have a good active board right now who is watching over everything,” Allison said.
William Alexander, assistant chief, said improved communication with the community also has helped to improve its standing.
“Communication is paramount,” Alexander said. “It was the biggest thing that was lacking before.”
While it wasn't always the case, Allison said, she is confident that Seneca EMS will continue to operate and help the community.
“We're strong now, we'll be here,” Allison said.
Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or email@example.com.