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The End of West End: Council Taps New EMS Company

Trappe Ambulance will take over EMS service in the borough as soon as April 1.

Phoenixville has a new EMS provider.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the borough council voted 7-0 to award Trappe Ambulance a three-year contract to replace West End Fire Co., The Mercury is reporting.

The vote marked the end of what had grown to be a rocky relationship between the borough and the EMS provider.

citing dissatisfaction with West End’s service, the borough voted unanimously to shop for a new provider, but said it would keep the door open for West End to retain the contract.

On October 23, West End responded, writing an open letter that accused the borough government of, among other charges, “compromising” the safety of Phoenixville residents by diminishing fire-fighting capabilities. At the next borough council meeting, vice president Michael Speck called the allegations “malicious.”

At any rate, both parties will now move on.

Councilman David Gautreau told the Mercury that Tuesday’s vote came down to Trappe Ambulance and Uwchlan Ambulance.  Gautreau added that Trappe could take over as soon as April 1.

Brian Eno March 13, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Trappe will most likley be relocating at least one ambulance to the Boro, so everyone's concerns there are moot. I believe it was in the RFP that an ALS ambulance (or maybe even 2) would be required to be IN the Boro. But just because West End won't be covering Phoenixville Borough, it does not mean "The End of West End." The coverage area extends into many neighboring municipalities, who have not elected to replace West End as their EMS provider.
SpeakingTheTruth March 13, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Congrats to Trappe for making strides to their growth. The residents of Phoenixville will be very happy with their service and commitment to patient care. Lucky for them it was easy because West End Fire Co's Management fed them the contract. Look what the Board of Directors and Management of West End has done to that company. RAN it straight into the ground. I'm glad to see that providing EMS service which has been done for almost a century was not as important then keeping a Pint of Coors Light below $2.00
Goddess March 13, 2013 at 02:32 PM
The article title is misleading, since West End EMS services will continue to other areas. It will suck to be the 2nd person requiring an ALS rescue ambulance in the Borough. The RFP states: "There shall be no less than one (1) ALS crew on-duty in the Borough on a 24/7 basis for primary emergency 9-1-1 response; however, additional crews may need to be added based on actual call volume and at the request of the Borough after meeting with the service provider." The Borough also eliminated the $100,000 bond requirement, instead asking for a $35,000 escrow or a $35,000 bond. Download and read the fascinating Questions and Answers of December 19 and January 22 before they are deleted from the Borough website.
Paul March 13, 2013 at 02:34 PM
I'm glad I live in Schuylkill Twp. I have been served in the past by West End and was very satisfied with their level of service.
George Hughes March 13, 2013 at 02:34 PM
No , the other municipalities haven't elected to scrap them yet , but at least one has and the others I don't think are far behind .
Goddess March 13, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Frank Otto: "Whether or not the ambulance service would end up occupying a building in the borough 'is to be determined,' Tichnell said." Clint Tichnell is Trappe Ambulance’s chief.
JustTheFacts March 13, 2013 at 05:04 PM
If only you knew what you were talking about If they kept West End, THAT would have be detrimental to our safety.
JustTheFacts March 13, 2013 at 05:05 PM
They are required by ordinance to have a unit in the borough. They don't mention that in the article but that FACT.
JustTheFacts March 13, 2013 at 05:05 PM
THEY RESCUED US FROM BAD SERVICE! THANK THEM! HELL, HUG THEM!
JustTheFacts March 13, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Don't HOLD your breath Paul. They won't know what to do to help you... Oh and It will be on ly a matter of time until Schuylkill goes elsewhere. West End will go bankrupt now. There aren't enough calls in their remaining territory to financially support them. Which will be a blessing to all those still stuck with their service.
JustTheFacts March 13, 2013 at 05:08 PM
We'll give him a get out of jail free card for that blunder. They're required to according to their agreement so It's already determined.
Goddess March 13, 2013 at 05:10 PM
JustTheFacts, where does it say that? The ordinance was passed yesterday, but I cannot find that provision. http://phoenixville.org/PDF/Public%20Notices/Ordinances/Ordinance%20-%20Fire%20Department%20mar%202013.pdf
JustTheFacts March 13, 2013 at 05:10 PM
The simple FACT is that when West End went ALS way back when, the people who were administrating it (oddly enough the new Borough Fire Chief) had no idea what they were doing and the EMS system in the borough has gone to the dogs ever since. I'm thankful that the Council finally got their act together and are taking care of their residents. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!
Lets Get It Right March 13, 2013 at 07:03 PM
I happened to be present at the meeting and heard the interview between Chief Tichnell and Mr Otto that has been referenced so for the sake of what actually happened Mr. Tichnell was asked Where in the borough the ambulance would be stationed to which he replied "to be determined".not whether it would occupy a building in the borough which is a ridiculous question as we all know it must or they would not have been awarded the contract. Mr Otto should be a little more responsible and accurate with his reporting.
Amy Rapp Himes March 13, 2013 at 11:56 PM
What happened to our town, I don't recognize the place I was born and raised. I grew up in the west end and feel a great loss over what is happening. Saddened by this change that will effect the safety of our town.
P-Ville Resident and Past Volunteer March 14, 2013 at 11:32 PM
Lets be real here people, this has not at all been about The service from West End, they have been serving the borough since the early 1920's with ambulance service. This has been a pissing match between The Borough Council, The EX Borough Fire Chief and The Management from West End for not playing the consolidation (HOSTILE TAKE OVER) game and giving up their equipment. Borough Council should be ashamed of themselves for being so childish and now putting the borough, its residents, the commercial businesses and their patrons at even more risk. It isn't bad enough that Borough population has tripled over the last 30 years and the Fire Department has been wiped out by 2/3 just in the past 5 years, do the math. Is it going to take someone getting hurt or killed before everyone wakes up???
46 BLAST March 15, 2013 at 05:58 AM
WAKE UP PEOPLE! When is the Phoenixville area going to realise that this is not about safety. It's about CONTROL!!! It's the "New World ORDER". Your Bolshevistic Borough Council, headed by Kommisar Dick Kirkner is now The Phonixville Politboro! This is UN Agenda 21. Communism to the third power! With bike trails and lollipops for everyone. Remember this and vote these Socialist Democrats OUT!
Mary Spinister March 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Another moron heard from, what the price of beer has to do with the ambulance service is unclear. If you were involved at all you would know that the social hall exists to support the fire co. and has contributed over $350,000.00 in building repair/upkeep costs and direct cash payments to the Fire Co. in the last 2 years. The $100,000.00 bond requirement in the RFP could not be met by West End, although, the borough was willing to forgo that to get Trappe Ambulance in place, which they have been trying to do behind closed doors for several years. If you have been so concerned about West End's management, perhaps you should have gotten involved instead of running your mouth.
Mary Spinister March 15, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I can guarantee you, Goddess, that if West End had submitted the same answers to the RFP, the responses from the borough would have been completely different. They bent over backwards to accommodate Trappe...I would also like to see the bid submitted by Uwchlan Ambulance, but that will never happen.
Mary Spinister March 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM
By the way Mr. Sunnergren, you routinely create inflammatory and misleading headlines for articles you lift from other news sources. This is not helpful or informative, in fact it approaches yellow journalism and you need to desist.
TrekMedic March 16, 2013 at 05:05 PM
The original proposal request mandated a staffed ambulance IN the borough, not responding from Trappe.
TrekMedic March 16, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Along with Spring City, East Vincent Twp and all of the Coventrys, who are now serviced by out-of-county EMS, when did Phoenxville get annexed into Montgomery County?? You're looking at 3000-4000 911 calls now having to route through Chester County's system and into Montgomery County's 911 center in order to get the ambulance dispatched. That could take several minutes to occur. As someone said, you call walk to the hospital faster!
marcia March 18, 2013 at 06:16 PM
TrekMedic, this is not true. Trappe's crews in Phoenixville will be dispatched directly from Chester County. There will be no routing through MontCo.
JustTheFacts March 18, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Exactly Marcia. Trek you are grossly mistaken. And thankfully....
TrekMedic March 18, 2013 at 09:17 PM
I can tell you both that a REQUEST has been made to Chester County 911 to mandate all three MontCo-based services be dispatched and communicate on Chester County's system, but 1) that currently is NOT the case and 2) there is no certainty that it WILL happen in the future.
Oscar Goldman March 24, 2013 at 07:04 AM
Hey Jen Hart, now that you're full time at Trappe and try and screw over West End as much as you could with your boyfriend Gable, be sure to let everyone know how it works out...
Michele Grzywacz March 26, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Your written comments are libelous, to say the least. If you have any evidence of wrong-doing by two of the most hard-working people I know, perhaps you should make it public instead of making slanderous accusations. You are the worst kind of cowardly citizen, Joe McCarthy would be proud!
Paul Staley March 28, 2013 at 01:56 AM
To whom it may concern, my name is Paul Staley and my comments or actions do not reflect any of my employers views. First of all I would like to point out the absolute cowardice of the person who targeted my wife, myself and my family and put my address in this article, most notibly the fact that you hide behind a made up name because you are a scared ignorant imbicile. Why dont you come out and show yourself to ME, and dont make up malicious lies. Did my wife stop by our house when 67 covered Spring City? Yes, to see our daughter while on a 24hr shift and no...the engine did not run...unless it was cold and if you know what you are talking about, cold starts of diesel engines are not recommended, that is cerrtainly not the reason for loss of revenue. I know that most of this thread had been removed at the request of us, but how would you feel if someone told the world (or Phoenixville) your address? You are an immature little boy hiding behind the facade of a "grown man" who thinks that your opinion actually counts and by targeting hard working people you can make yourself look a little bit better. If you care to talk in the future I will gladly give you my phone number, until then keep your shallow minded comments to yourself.- Sincerely, Paul Staley
Mike Staley April 19, 2013 at 08:14 PM
It would be awkward if West End had a call in Charkestown or one of the other areas they cover and have to drive by an accident in Phoenixville with Trappe not on the scene.
P-Ville Resident and Past Volunteer April 20, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Hey Mike, what about a fire across the street from a Fire Company with a Fire Truck that will not be dispatched and cannot respond? How do you think that will go over? Also, why are Phoenixville Residents getting fundraising mail from Valley Forge Fire Co.?

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