ShareThis Page

New Cranberry EMS station to help meet growing population's demand

| Saturday, April 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
New Cranberry EMS station

As Cranberry's population and workforce expand, the number of service calls to the Cranberry Township Emergency Medical Services agency have spiked.

From 2,800 calls in 2010, according to Jeff Kelly, executive director of the department, the agency expects to answer 3,800 calls in 2013. In 2012, the agency answered just over 3,400 calls.

Cranberry had a population of 28,098 in 2010, according to U.S. Census figures, up nearly 19 percent from 2000's population of 23,625.

Township and EMS officials celebrated a ground breaking Tuesday on a $1.6 million, two-story EMS station that'll be built next to the township's fire station along Route 19, near Community Park.

“The idea behind this new base station is to meet the emergency medical needs of our residents, businesses and visitors for another generation,” township supervisor chairman Bruce Mazzoni said. “And its use comes with a promise — that the EMS will provide our community with first-rate medical transport service.”

“It's just going to be a fantastic facility,” said Scott Smith, vice chairman of the township EMS board. “And its central location will allow us to respond to calls in every part of the township even faster than before.”

According to a service agreement signed earlier this year with the township, the agency must respond to 90 percent of calls within 90 seconds.

The township is financing the project and the agency will pay $3,500 rent monthly. The two-story building will feature space for six vehicles, space for staff to rest, and other amenities, replacing the department's cramped quarters on Thomson Park Drive. Kelly said the agency hopes to be in the new building by the end of the year.

“Operationally, as we continue to get busier, we're growing,” Kelly said. He said that one-third of the calls are non-emergency transports, such as from UPMC Passavant to Pittsburgh hospitals.

The agency, with 15 full-time employees, 20 part-time employees and six volunteers, has an annual budget of $1.7 million, Kelly said.

The department is planning to launch two programs this year as potential money-makers.

The first is a “safe landing” for newborns program, in which the department will offer CPR and first-aid training to families with infants, as well as home safety inspections, car seat installations and other training.

The second is for wellness checks for the elderly, including home visits to make medical evaluations such as taking blood sugar and checking medications.

Kelly said the department is still working on business models for the programs and hasn't set fees.

“We're thinking this will be lucrative for us,” Kelly said.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.