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Multiple ZIPs complicate Mutual Aid subscription drive in Murrysville area

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Murrysville-area ZIP code confusion struck earlier this month when a Delmont-area emergency management service asked many Murrysville and Export residents to sign up for its ambulance service.

Mutual Aid, the EMS company that responds to Delmont emergencies, mistakenly sent out subscription requests to an unknown number of Murrysville and Export residents. Those communities are served by the Medic One ambulance service.

“This was not a planned, aggressive take-over,” said Dennis Todaro, controller for Mutual Aid. “This has been a problem for years – it's not anything new. But I think we can work the problem out amicably.”

Todaro said the problem came from the way local ZIP codes are organized. Several municipalities — including Murrysville and Salem Township — are divided into multiple ZIP codes.

About 60 percent of Murrysville residents don't have a Murrysville mailing address; the municipality is split between seven ZIP codes — Murrysville, Export, Delmont, New Kensington, Monroeville, Jeannette, and Plum/Pittsburgh.

Some who live in Salem Township have an Export address.

Traditionally, Mutual Aid has sent its subscription requests based on ZIP code without being able to differentiate between communities served by the ambulance service, Todaro said. While some areas are set for a dual response, he said, a recently purchased software package should solve the problem.

“Some of our streets in our ZIP areas were covered by Murrysville Medic One, some were covered by Mutual Aid,” Todaro said.

Earlier this month, Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks commented on the additional mailings and reminded residents that Medic One is the municipal EMS provider. He suggested Murrysville residents disregard Mutual Aid's notice and subscribe to Medic One's service.

Todaro said Mutual Aid mails out to 70,000 homes in its coverage area, which includes Greensburg. He said he didn't know the number of mailings that went to residents served by Medic One and that the number was “insignificant.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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