West Grove Fire Company
West Grove Fire Company


2022 Incidents
Fire EMS
Jan 70 281
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Total 548 2599

2022 Incidents by Municipality
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Franklin 52 193
London Britain 46 136
London Grove 122 520
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Penn 128 857
West Grove 27 153
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Total 548 2599

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Fire EMS
2021 611 2896
2020 580 2565
2019 651 2442
2018 657 2612
2017 665 2394
2016 708 2313
2015 560 2208
2014 619 2244
2013 577 2095
2012 577 1957
2011 534 2035
2010 588 1782

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WGFC Leaders Testify at House Hearing on EMS Crisis in Pennsylvania
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March 1, 2022

The unexpected closing of two area hospitals, the COVID-19 pandemic, and funding issues are the topics of a hearing today in Harrisburg where leaders of the West Grove Fire Company provided key testimony.

The House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives held a public hearing this afternoon at the state capitol to explore challenges to the Commonwealth's emergency medical system (EMS) - a system in crisis. The West Grove Fire Company was invited to present testimony, as the organization has been facing the real-time challenge of losing its local hospital at the same time it has been addressing the ongoing challenges of operating the last 24 months during a pandemic. Known for its progressive leadership, the committee invited the WGFC to provide insight into the situation in southern Chester County, and the range of impacts on the staff, budget and operations of the combination department that serves nearly 80 square miles.

President Neil Vaughn, Fire Chief Justin Gattorno, and EMS Manager Gary Vinnacombe presented testimony today, joining a range of EMS systems stakeholders from state, county and municipal level organizations each providing the Committee with information about the crisis in EMS in Pennsylvania.

As part of their testimony, the officers outlined the impact of having two of five Chester County hospitals close on short notice, putting almost half of the geographical area of the County without a hospital close by.

The impact on ambulance ability to return to service after a call has been severe, with extended transport, return and ER wait times up dramatically. Waits of one to two hours for ambulance crews to transfer care to ERs distant from the ambulance response districts now the norm, and ER bed availability limited, total call time (dispatch to return to service) has increased 150 percent, from 46 minutes to 116 minutes. Additional impacts outlined in the testimony include impact on staff -- from physical and mental wellness of our crews, including crew safety; to extended wear and tear on the ambulance fleet and increased fuel and operating costs; and including the impact on budgets and municipal funding.

WGFC leaders testified that the situation in Chester County was a "public health emergency" while helping the Committee understand the seriousness of the challenges the WGFC and numerous other Chester County EMS agencies are facing during this challenging time. The WGFC officers maintained the fire company remains committed to its mission of delivering superior patient care to people in need, and a timely response to 911 medical emergencies.

The full testimony provided by fire company leaders can be found in the attached document.

Attachments:
Attachment Testimony03012022_v2.pdf  (546k)
 
 

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