Williamstown Area EMS
earns state award
to be honored for its performance by
Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council
By Duane Good, EDITOR
Williamstown Area EMS
remains the only all-volunteer emergency
medical service in northern Dauphin
County and one of only two county-wide.
(Sentinel file photo)
Williamstown Area EMS,
also known as WEMS, has a dinner date
for next month.
The organization has been
named Small Volume EMS Agency of the
Year (2014) by the Pennsylvania
Emergency Health Services Council for
exemplary service in a variety of areas.
WEMS members have been
invited to the Pennsylvania Fire and
Emergency Services Institute annual
banquet Saturday, Nov. 22 at the
Radisson Harrisburg in Camp Hill. Chief
Garrett Miller and Assistant Chief
Andrew Donton will accept the award on
their organization’s behalf.
It’s already been a
milestone year for WEMS, which marked
its 50th anniversary in June and also
expanded its service capabilities by
adding a quick-response unit earlier
this year. (Sentinel, Jan. 28 issue.)
First winner from
county. Also known as “Station 24,’’
WEMS remains northern Dauphin County’s
only 100 percent volunteer emergency
medical service and one of only two
all-volunteer EMS groups in the county.
It provides BLS (Basic Life
Support) services. PinnacleHealth Community Life
Team/Medic 6 provides ALS (Advanced Life
Its primary service area includes
Williamstown Borough and the townships of
Williams and Wiconisco. It is ‘‘second due’’ in
Tower City and Lykens borough and in the
townships of Porter, Rush, Lykens and a portion
First in county to win award.
The Small Volume EMS Agency of the Year award
goes to an organization that responds to less
than 1,500 calls a year. (There also are awards
for Medium and Large Volume entities as well. In
2013, WEMS responded to 865 consecutive calls
and, as of this writing, has run more than 600
calls in 2014.
According to Donton, criteria for
the award includes:
• Cooperative working
relationships with surrounding public safety
• An emphasis on
provider-education and professional-development
• Participation in
• A consistent record of rapid
response time and adequate staffing levels.
Station 24 was notified of the
award in August.
“It’s great that all the hard
work that the volunteers do doesn’t go
unnoticed,’’ Donton stated. ‘‘These volunteers
are not here to get recognized, but when they
do, it feels good.
‘‘It is also a great feeling
knowing we are the first company in all of
Dauphin County to ever win this award,’’ he
“A wonderful job.” The
agency was nominated by a fellow first
responder, Bradley DeLancey, EMS chief for
Susquehanna Twp. Emergency Medical Services and
chairman of the Dauphin County Emergency Health
“I’ve seen what a wonderful job
they have done,’’ he said. ‘‘In the past year,
they have been extraordinary. They definitely
are a high-functioning organization and that’s
due to the support of their volunteers.
‘‘(Station 24) responded to 865
calls without missing a single one. That in
itself is great, especially for a an
all-volunteer group,’’ he noted. ‘‘And in many
cases, they had enough available staff to send
out two ambulances when it was needed.
DeLancey praised WEMS’ volunteers
for being willing to deal with medical
emergencies at a time when people are more
reluctant to potentially expose themselves to
He also noted how the
organization has a strong compliment of
additional volunteers who take care of
non-emergency functions (i.e. administration,
fundraising, etc.) so that those certified in
emergency medical response can concentrate on
Station 24’s leadership has
worked hard not only in keeping the agency well
equipped, but well-staffed and trained,
according to DeLancey.
‘‘One of the nice things they do
is provide training and education opportunities
for people in their community,’’ he said. “They
also provide support for Girl Scout and Boy
Scout troops who want to learn first aid and
Visible in community. WEMS volunteers
are visible at a variety of community functions.
Crews are on the scene of every sporting event
at Williams Valley Junior-Senior High School.
In addition, they are present at
community parades throughout the year and at
Memorial Day observances, the annual Block
Party, and other local events in their service
area – and sometimes outside if the area.
For several years, the
association staged a ‘‘DUI crash’’ at Williams
Valley High School just before the prom and
graduation seasons, with a goal of discouraging
teenagers from drinking and driving.
The current association began in
June 1964 as the Williamstown-Williams Twp.
Community Ambulance Association. It became
Williamstown Area EMS Inc. in 1993.
For more information.
Anyone interested in volunteering for WEMS is
asked to call 647-2142. The web site is
Former volunteer was winner in
2013. Donton also noted that Robert Staken
Jr., a former Tower City resident and WEMS
volunteer, was honored as Paramedic of the Year
(2013) at last year’s Pennsylvania Fire and
Emergency Services Institute dinner.