Parts of Delaware County could soon lose emergency medical services

Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital notified the county as well as Clifton Heights, Folcroft, and Lansdowne of potential cuts to their emergency medical services.

A walkway has a sign that reads Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

File photo: In this July 24, 2014 file photo, an officer walks near the scene of a shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. (AP Photo, File)

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Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and its parent company, Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, may potentially discontinue its emergency medical services in parts of southeast Delaware County.

The hospital system sent letters to the county health department and a handful of local municipalities in late February, warning them of potential contract terminations in 180 days. The letter cited “staffing costs and shortages” as a reason for the change.

A spokesperson for Mercy Fitzgerald said hospital administrators have been looking to update its EMS contracts with several fire departments and their corresponding municipalities for more than a year.

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“Proposed changes included a modernized staffing model built around actual call volume, and an equitable cost- and profit-sharing arrangement. Two firehouses have agreed to amend their current contracts. However, we have been unable to reach an agreement with the remaining three,” the statement read.

Clifton Heights, Folcroft, and Lansdowne are still negotiating with the hospital. Mercy Fitzgerald officials “remain hopeful for a resolution.”

Trinity Health, a Michigan-based not-for-profit, operates 88 hospitals across the country.

In a written statement to WHYY News, a spokesperson for the Delaware County Health Department said county officials are working with Trinity and the impacted municipalities “to ensure that emergency services are maintained for all residents.”

“Last year, the County commissioned a study to evaluate EMS services across the county. That data is expected later this year and will help inform County leadership regarding EMS in Delaware County,” the statement read.

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