HEPBURN TOWNSHIP, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Northern Lycoming EMS program is officially off the ground and running.

Eyewitness News first shared the news during the winter about four municipalities joining forces to extend emergency care.

The program just welcomed two new full time EMT’s. They are on 12 hour shifts Monday to Friday and deputy Chief Nathan Confer says the Hepburn Township Volunteer Fire Department is already feeling some weight lifted.

“There was an RV fire (on Wednesday) up on the highway that our paid staff got to be there for and participate which was a plus because during the day time we’re hurting for manpower and it actually filled the gaps where it needed to fill the gaps.”

Both new members, David Dymeck and John Rice, have EMS backgrounds and are thrilled to lend an extra helping hand.

“We’re looking forward to sharing the knowledge that we’ve acquired over the years and passing it onto the young volunteers and you know we look forward to learning too,” said Dymeck.

“It’s a good feeling being able to help them guys fulfill what they’ve wanted to do for many years and you can kind of hold your head up high knowing that you’re supporting three departments,” Rice said.

This has been almost 20 years in the making and John Orr, fire chief from the Ralston Volunteer Fire Department, is overjoyed to finally see it happen.

“It’s great to see it come to fruition and we’re actually seeing that truck go out the door on paid staff that you know we can count on people being there.”

The fire department is hoping to have six to seven full time EMT staff by next month.