Pennsylvania Ambulance to acquire Commonwealth Health EMS

Nov. 10—Pennsylvania Ambulance LLC is acquiring Commonwealth Health Emergency Medical Services and will continue its services without disruption, the ambulance company and health system announced.

The entities reached an agreement for Pennsylvania Ambulance to acquire certain assets of CHEMS, Commonwealth's ambulance and medical transportation provider, according to a press release issued late Wednesday. There will be no change or reduction in service to areas served by CHEMS.

The financial terms of the acquisition are unclear.

"CHEMS will become a part of Pennsylvania Ambulance's expanding medical transportation portfolio," the release reads. "Employees from the CHEMS organization will be integrated into the Pennsylvania Ambulance team. This acquisition will make Pennsylvania Ambulance LLC, the largest ambulance provider in Northeastern Pennsylvania both geographically and (in) number of communities served."

It notes Pennsylvania Ambulance plans to fully integrate CHEMS operations and employees into the company's organizational structure by the end of the month.

But CHEMS paramedic Robert Senape worries the acquisition could result in some of his colleagues losing their jobs, noting employees were only recently informed of the change and still have unanswered questions. He also worries it could impact service, despite assurances in the press release that won't be the case.

"I feel like this change is going to affect service to a lot of different areas that relied on Commonwealth and it literally is probably going to put people in danger," Senape said.

There won't be "disruption, change or reduction in service to areas served by CHEMS" and local communities won't see any changes in EMS coverage while the acquisition occurs, the release notes.

Senape said he's frustrated by what he sees as a lack of straightforward answers from Commonwealth and Pennsylvania Ambulance to employee questions about the acquisition.

The entities did not immediately respond to a series of questions emailed by a reporter late Wednesday.

In the press release, Pennsylvania Ambulance CEO Christopher Taramelli said the company is excited to welcome valued CHEMS employees into the organization.

"This acquisition has afforded us an opportunity to expand our services," Taramelli said. "This will also improve the scale of our capabilities to close gaps in care delivery across the region. This acquisition will put Pennsylvania Ambulance in a stronger position to support our mission which is providing great care, a family-oriented work environment coupled with innovative technology and equipment, which will provide a more efficient and effective EMS operation."

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