Three York County EMS companies merge with help of $300k grant

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
EMT Cory Boggs, left, and EMT Bethany Test perform routine, shift-change cleaning on the ambulances at at York Regional EMS ,Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Three York County ambulance companies are merging to form a new organization with the help of a $337,000 grant awarded Tuesday.

Grantley Fire Company, West York Ambulance and York Regional EMS have started the process of merging into First Capital Community Transport Partners, which officials said intends to fully merge July 1.

"Hopefully, this grant will help us carry out services into the next 20 or 30 years, so we can stay as a vibrant part of York County," said Rod Drawbaugh, the president of First Capital Community Transport Partners. 

In recent years, independent emergency service organizations have struggled financially, as revenue from patient care has not kept up with the overhead costs of running an agency, such as maintaining vehicles. 

EMT Cory Boggs performs routine, shift-change cleaning on the ambulances at at York Regional EMS ,Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

"By merging the services, we can leverage the organizations to get better buying power for vehicles and equipment," Drawbaugh said. 

WellSpan Health provided the $337,000 in funding to York County Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that creates grants to provide to local community groups.

The grant money will go toward legal services to execute the merger, rebranding equipment and uniforms and purchasing new ambulances and medical equipment, said Jane Conover, the president and CEO of York County Community Foundation.

"I think there's pressure from these organizations when they're standing alone and trying to navigate insurance reimbursements and make sure they have enough revenue to sustain the operating costs," Conover said. 

First Capital Community Transport Partners will serve more than 52,000 residents in York, Windsor, West Manchester and Spring Garden townships, and West York, Dallastown and Yoe boroughs.

Grantley Fire Company, West York Ambulance and York Regional EMS will continue providing services to the seven municipalities until the merger is completed.

Each of the three independent companies will continue operating out of their current buildings after they merge into First Capital Community Transport Partners, Conover said. 

"The thing that excites the YCCF about this program is it's really helping these organizations adapt to changing times," she added. "It takes a lot of work and courage in order to better serve the community."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.