Northeastern Berks EMS operational by fall; President says patient care and community come first

Submitted photo Northeastern Berks EMS Board members, left to right, are secretary Dave Anspach, president Doug Demchyk, and treasurer Jolene Schlegel.

The creation of a new emergency medical service organization is moving forward with plans of being operational by fall 2015.

Northeastern Berks Emergency Medical Service, a non-profit organization, hopes to serve the areas of Maxatawny Township, Greenwich Township, Albany Township and Richmond Township, and Kutztown Borough.

Founder and President Douglas Demchyk, a Pennsylvania certified Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic, said that since July 2014 he has been actively working on developing the organization. The Board of Directors, which meets monthly, consists of Demchyk, president, with 14 years in EMS; Jolene Schlegel, treasurer, with six years in EMS; and Dave Anspach, secretary, with 30 years in EMS.

He said Northeastern Berks Emergency Medical Service is a legal organization currently in the startup phase and their Board of Directors has approved everything to move forward to operational status.

“We are very pleased to announce that we have ordered our first ambulance with a delivery date in fall 2015 and we are actively working with a local contractor to finalize the initial building design and building plans. We have a very busy schedule ahead of us and we are looking forward to every part of it. This is for the community, which is at the forefront of our mission!”

In the beginning of April, NE Berks EMS ran its first Operational Fund Drive in the Kutztown and Maxatawny area to assist with the start up cost.

“This is not an inexpensive undertaking, it will take about three quarters of a million dollars to get through our first year,” he said.

In addition to the fund drive to help with expenses, Demchyk said it will be necessary to take out loans to get started. Also, a number of community members have pledged funds and time to help the organization, he said.

“Our purpose is to provide excellent quality emergency medical service for those municipalities that we provide service for,” said Demchyk. “We want to do this as a non-profit organization... We feel the objective should be quality emergency medicine first. We understand that enough funding is needed to break even, we are not dreamers, but the patient care should be first and foremost.”

Their plan is to take part in community activities and help in public education and training on medical issues.

“I hope no one expects us to sit quietly by and be silent on issues like tobacco use, vaccinations, and alcohol abuse because we will address the medical issues of our community and the risks associated with them.”

“Our goal is not just to do this at the personal level on each ambulance response, but at the community level,” said Demchyk.

In a message to community, he said, “We know we are asking for the community to place a lot of trust in us to start this organization. It is always difficult to make a change, but all improvement must start with change. We will need everyone’s support to make this happen.”

Demchyk requested the community’s help and support.

“We will make you proud that you were part of the beginnings of a new organization,” he said.

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