Bally Area Ambulance Service, at 537 Chestnut Street in Bally, has been a United Way sponsored agency for more than 10 years, serving approximately 10 municipalities in and around Bally.Providing ambulance and first aid services and instruction to area residents, the Bally Area Ambulance Service serves the needs of community members in the boroughs of Bally and Bechtelsville; the townships of Washington, Douglass-Montgomery, and New Hanover; as well as portions of the townships of Hereford and Upper Hanover.

The Goodwill Fire Company of Bally started the Bally Area Ambulance Service in 1951. Today, the ambulance service has 25 paid staff members and eight volunteers. They typically handle about 900 calls each year.

The monies received from United Way of Boyertown most often are used to offset costs for families who are financially unable to afford services received from the Bally Area Ambulance Service.

"We use some of [the funds] to write off bills for families who can't afford services," explains Bruce Mietzler, Chief of Operations.

Additionally, United Way funds are used to purchase better equipment, in order to upgrade or replace older, less-functioning models.

Due to having a difficult and unpredictable work schedule based on when emergency calls are received, Mietzler and other staff members usually are not available to participate in the United Way of Boyertown agency meetings. However, the staff at the Bally Area Ambulance Service does respond to helping the United Way whenever needed.

As Mietzler explains, "We commit to help them whenever they ask us to."

Currently, the ambulance service does not have a Web site, but the Board has been approached about the feasibility of creating one. Mietzler expects that when he receives the go-ahead to have a Web site created, United Way of Boyertown monies will probably be used to offset any costs associated with the project.

Like all of the other sponsored agencies, Bally Area Ambulance Service appreciates their partnership with the United Way of Boyertown and the much-needed financial support it provides.

"I think [the United Way of Boyertown] is very good," says Mietzler. "They've always supported us, and we try to support them as best we can too. We really do try to help them."

For more information about Bally Area Ambulance Service, call 610-845-2501.

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