WEATHERLY, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — As Sandy Adkins of Weatherly took her dog “Yeggy” for a walk down Carbon Street on Thursday, she couldn’t help but think about the former Greater Weatherly Ambulance Association just across the road.
“This is a necessary thing. I mean this is saving lives, you know,” she said.
Months of financial and staffing distress forced the ambulance company to shut down in February leaving borough leaders to scramble for a solution. And find one, they did.
“Yeah, I slept good last night because this has been something that has been weighing on our mind,” said Weatherly Councilman Joe Cyburt.
Mr. Cyburt and his fellow Weatherly Council Members voted unanimously Wednesday to contract with Lehighton-based Mahoning Valley Ambulance Association for primary medical services.
In reaching agreement with Mahoning Valley, Mr. Cyburt says the borough is dealing with a familiar source. “Mahoning Valley has been filling in most of the time and from time to time you’ll see an ambulance down at the borough building from Lehighton.”
Mahoning Valley will also provide something Weatherly borough hasn’t had in town: around the clock ambulance service.
Mr. Cyburt said, “They came right out and told us it might be a month or so before they can actually give us 24/7.”
Mr. Cyburt said the agreement means it won’t cost Weatherly a single penny. As for residents, they’ll still need to have an ambulance membership fee and Mahoning Valley plans to honor the existing one that doesn’t expire until the end of May.
That membership fee right now is $50 per adult per household. Weatherly residents like Michael DeFuso believe it’s money well spent.
“Knock on wood, I haven’t used one for awhile because I have a lot of problems.” When suggested that when you need an ambulance you want it nearby, Mr. DeFuso said, “Oh yeah. Yes. Yes, that’s for sure.”
Mr. Cyburt said the plan is to have Mahoning Valley Ambulance Association provide staffing at the Weatherly Borough Building. He added that they may eventually use the old ambulance building on Carbon Street but that it is not certain.