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Cranberry EMS offers in-home services to promote safety, wellness

| Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Bill Vidonic | Tribune-Review
The new Cranberry EMS station is under construction along Route 19. The building is scheduled to open later this year.
Bill Vidonic | Tribune-Review
Mark Kovalchuk of Charleroi applies a coat of paint to the ceiling of an ambulance bay at the Cranberry EMS station under construction along Route 19 on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. The building is scheduled to open later this year.

Cranberry Emergency Medical Service is expanding its community outreach with two new programs offering home visits.

The Safe Landing program involves having paramedics or EMS technicians make four-hour home visits to new parents.

They'll check for proper installation of car seats, conduct a home safety check and show parents the safe way for children to sleep.

The cost is $150 for each visit.

For the Community Wellness Check program, medics make weekly one-hour visits to area homes. Services include taking and tracking a person's vital signs, making sure they are taking medications properly, assisting with medical questions and performing a home safety check.

The cost is $145 per month for a single person or $170 for a couple for one visit each week; $175 for a single and $200 for a couple for two visits a week; and $200 for a single and $225 for a couple for three visits a week.

“(The programs) are an opportunity to be more embedded in the community,” Kelly said, “to highlight or showcase what we have, and what we can provide outside the normal EMS nomenclature.”

Kelly also hopes the programs will generate additional revenue to help offset declines in Medicare and insurance reimbursements and increasing operational costs.

The new initiatives come as the agency, which expects to answer almost 4,000 calls this year, prepares to move into a new home along Route 19 next to the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department's station near the entrance to Community Park.

Medics hope to be in the building by the end of November, Kelly said.

“The staff is excited,” he said. “We've been taking down pictures and wall hangings. Everybody's been cleaning.”

He said the agency is tentatively planning an open house in mid-December.

The two-story building, which replaces cramped quarters on Thomson Park Drive, will have space for six vehicles, areas for staff to rest, a conference room and other amenities.

Cranberry is financing the $1.6 million project, and the agency will pay $3,500 in monthly rent.

The agency has an annual budget of more than $1.7 million.

Township manager Jerry Andree said that as part of the construction project, the township upgraded the landscaping outside the adjacent Park fire station, added a sidewalk along Mashuda Drive into the center of the community park and resurfaced the combined EMS/fire station parking lot.

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

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