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Bushkill Emergency Corps is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteer staff and paid staff. All our staff members are caring, knowledgeable, and accessible. We are always willing to take the time to go over all of your options and treat you as a person, not just a patient.
At Bushkill, we pride ourselves on our patient service. We have knowledgeable personnel, who provide the most current pre-hospital treatment available.
We've created this web site for our residents as well as our patients. It includes specific information on our organization and our staff along with emergency preparedness information.
The following article appeared in the Pocono Record's Community News on 5/18/07:
Bushkill Ambulance Corps faithfully responds to the call
Community News Editor
May 18, 2007
It is around this time every year that Bushkill Ambulance Corps, which serves northern Monroe and part of Pike counties, faces a critical period.
With four locations and a workforce of more than 40, the organization is preparing for one of its busiest weekends of the year and its heaviest work schedule over the next three months.
"This is the lull before the storm," said corps Captain Ray Felmley.
And next week is Emergency Medical Services week as members of the group venture to schools, nurseries and child-care centers to give lectures on the work they do around the clock, seven days a week, and the importance of exercising caution.
Right after Memorial Day, the organization sends out about 18,000 mailers to the area asking for donations. Felmley said they get about a 10 percent response and the generosity of those donors is vital as the organization is non-profit over its 42 years of existence. "We rely heavily on township donations and communities," said Felmley, who pointed out that half of the staff, particularly certified EMTs and paramedics, are salaried while the other half is volunteer. Most salaried workers also put in volunteer hours as well, said Bushkill Ambulance Corps President Debbie Kulick.
"I'm really proud of the fact that our organization has served as a feeder for careers - five who became doctors, and countless nurses," said Kulick, who is joined by Vice President Lisa Localzo and Treasurer Chris Cramer on the board of directors. "They found a calling in life from doing this."
And they've helped save countless lives over the years.
Felmley, who has served as captain for 10 years, said that typically there are "five to 10 calls a day" and about 3,000 calls a year. It's a great increase from its first two years when there were 140 emergency trips - during that 24-month span. In the late 1980s, there were 1,000 calls a year and members of the corps said in reports published in the Pocono Record that they expected that number to nearly double over the following few years.
Back then, there were 375 sponsoring families with help from road drives and sponsorships. Walter Bensley was the first captain.
Along with the increased work from population growth, expenses have gone up as the corps serves many ends from auto accidents to household emergencies to heart attacks and strokes. Along with the summer, the calls pick up again during the winter with skiing accidents.
Felmley pointed out that a defibrillator the organization just purchased cost $20,000.
And a fully equipped ambulance nowadays costs $150,000, a lot different from the $750 the organization spent on a 1958 Pontiac ambulance when it began. The organization currently has four vans, including three four-wheel drive units.
"And Medicare has adjusted the way it pays," said Kulick. "Many other insurers often follow suit."
Kulick said her organization transports all 911 calls, with Suburban EMS out of Stroudsburg as a secondary provider.
"When our personnel get there (to an emergency scene), they know what to do and work very well with other support agencies," said Kulick, who said she has been Bushkill Ambulance Corps president for 25 of the 34 years she has been involved. "We're very lucky we have a very good workforce that combine volunteer with career work. Here everyone understands they're on the same team and work as one. It's a flawless operation.
"I'm just as enthused and inspired today as my first day. I've seen a lot of people come and go, Even people who do it for a short time find it a life-changing experience."
Certainly, the organization has come a long way from that July 15, 1965 day when 28 residents met at the Bushkill Reformed Church with the pastor - Rev. Paul Van Elk. Fifteen men had completed a First Aid course and the ambulance corps was incorporated a month later.
"Back then, they were just learning about administering CPR," said Kulick, who also is a certified CPR instructor. "My very first patient had congestive heart failure. Today, it's a routine call with medications en route to the hospital.
"And we introduced Advanced Life Support," said Kulick. "We have met the challenges and modified our operations."
By the late 1980s, the organization added facilities, primarily to serve the needs of housing those personnel on call. A Marshalls Creek facility, donated by Fernwood Resort owner Peter Ahnert, opened in 1989 and months later, an office hub opened behind Foxmoor Village.
The other facilities are at Winona Falls Road and a garage facility at the Municipal Building of Lehman Township. Kulick said that township is a "significant contributor" to the fundraising drive.
Many of the personnel involved entire families. Felmley said that along with his wife, Nancy, a certified EMT, both sons are involved in Bushkill Ambulance Corps - Ryan and Ray Jr., as well as Ray Jr.'s wife, Michelle.
"We're looking to focus on what the future growth is; if not, you're caught short," said Kulick. "We know our strength is in our (sense of) organization."
Bushkill Emergency Corps
P.O. Box 174
Bushkill, Pa., 18324
9:00am -3:30 P.M. weekdays
Our office staff sometimes takes ambulance calls. Please leave a message and we will return your call.