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GOH Steps Up for Port Matilda EMS, but More Help Is Needed

by and on February 10, 2020 5:00 AM

PORT MATILDA — The Port Matilda EMS is there every day and night to help people when they are in an emergency situation, but recently, the service itself has been facing an emergency financially. Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. heard the news and wanted to help. Now, the company is stepping up by donating some work to help make the EMS operations in Port Matilda run more efficiently.

This along with other support from the community is helping the company that had “hit rock bottom” to get back on track, said Captain David Corle Sr.

Reports about the critical situation of the EMS started coming out last November when a Facebook post announced a plea for people to support the EMS through a membership drive.

“Port Matilda EMS is currently in a critical situation,” said the post.

“We have enough funds available to cover one more payroll cycle and that is it. Our annual membership drive is due to come out this week, and we need your support now more than ever. Your purchases of a membership helps protect not only your family in case of a medical emergency, but also helps your community sustain this vital resource.”

Since then, the EMS received some help, but still only received about 820 memberships out of the 5,000 membership applications that were sent out to its service area, said treasurer Ken Maney. This is about equal to what the company received last year, said Maney.

“Our situation overall has not changed. We are looking at a roughly $65,000 deficit in 2020,” said Maney.

“The municipalities we serve have stated there may be an increase in their payments to us. Payments from insurance companies are something we cannot predict in what they will pay, so it is hard to determine what we will receive in the upcoming year.”

But there are people who are showing that they don’t want to lose the vital service, he said.

“Over the past several months the community has stepped up with donations. We had a soup sale in January that netted $1,500,” said Maney.

The company also had one especially generous donor.

“Everybody was excited here. I mean $10,000 is going to go a long way. I don’t know who wrote the check out but whoever it is, they have my gratitude, my thanks and the whole nine yards,” said Corle. “A generous customer bought a quart of soup for $10,006. A $10,000 donation. That is so amazing.”

And now GOH is stepping up as well, and it has committed to replacing the windows, doors and the hot water heater at EMS headquarters in order to improve building efficiency, which will in turn help to reduce operating costs.

GOH will also be sealing and re-striping the parking lot in the summer, all at no cost to the Port Matilda EMS, said Maney.

“The Port Matilda EMS thanks Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. for its contributions towards improvements at the EMS building,” he said.

“But there is more work that needs to be done.”

The service could still use a generator, either commercial or industrial, to power the entire building including garage doors to get the units out in case of an outage, or something smaller, "to at least give heat and some lighting while we are staffed.”

A refrigerator is also a need.

“We currently have three in the building that are used for staff and storage for when we have fundraisers,” said Maney.

“Our current ones are very old and are smaller units.”

The EMS company is also in need of a washer and dryer, a heat pump and a couch for the back office. But in the interim, Maney said Port Matilda EMS is glad to receive the help from Glenn O. Hawbaker.

“What it means to us is that we won’t have to take funds from our operating expenditures to do capital improvements projects and it will help by cutting costs of inefficiency,” said Maney.

“It means a heck of a lot. They are going to replace some windows and some doors. Right now we don’t have the funding, so Hawbaker is going to step up and do it for us,” said Corle. “It means more to us than what we can repay and then they’ll ever know.”

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

Vincent Corso is writer for Town&Gown and the Centre County Gazette.
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