A Local Solution to
Our Local Emergency
Services Crisis

Ensuring EMS continues to be
available in Northwest Lancaster

A New Regional
Emergency Services

Led by local municipalities.
Guided by local residents like you.

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Eight Municipalities Form Municipal Authority to Address EMS Crisis

Eight municipalities in the northwest region of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, have incorporated a first-of-its-kind regional municipal authority to address the region’s emergency medical services crisis.

The new Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County will fund, manage and provide EMS services to member municipalities. The founding municipalities are Conoy Township, East Donegal Township, Elizabethtown Borough, Elizabeth Township, Marietta Borough, Mount Joy Township, Penn Township and West Donegal Township.

The Local EMS Crisis

Emergency medical services in the northwestern portion of Lancaster County are provided by Northwest EMS, a non-profit organization that traces its roots to the merger of the Elizabethtown Fire Company Ambulance and the Northwest Advanced Life Support Unit in January 2000.

Why was the Municipal Authority formed?

The path to forming the authority began in 2018, when municipalities in northwest Lancaster County were at a crossroads with the future of emergency services at risk. Northwest EMS in northwest Lancaster County, which was recognized as Pennsylvania EMS Agency of the Year in 2020 by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, was facing insolvency due to insufficient revenue and rising costs. Many EMS agencies across Pennsylvania are also struggling to maintain services in the face of soaring costs, funding shortfalls and staffing challenges.

EMS in Northwest Lancaster is at Risk

While we are truly fortunate to have Northwest EMS as the emergency medical services provider in our community, the organization’s future is at risk. Why? Insufficient revenue and rising costs.

The bottom line: Northwest EMS has operated at a deficit over the past six years. The expected budget shortfall for 2022 is over $500,000. Unless this crisis is addressed, Northwest EMS will be insolvent in a few years.

A New Community
Model for EMS Services

The Solution: A New Community
Model for EMS Services

Municipal leaders and the Northwest EMS Board of Directors have been meeting quarterly since 2018. At the start of 2021, a committee of Northwest EMS leaders, volunteers and local municipal leaders began studying this situation and exploring alternatives.

The committee is proposing the creation of a regional Emergency Services Authority, which will address the challenges that jeopardize emergency services in our community and fulfill the statutory requirement for municipalities to provide EMS services with more fiscal stability.

The bottom line: The new EMS authority would ensure that EMS services continue to be available in our community 24/7/365, potentially saving your life or the life of your loved one.

Authority Municipal Members

Northwest Lancaster Municipal Partners

Local municipalities are joining together to address the local EMS crisis

Municipalities that have enacted ordinances to join the regional Emergency Services Authority (as of Jan. 24, 2023):


June / July 2022

Municipalities confirmed intent/interest to join the Emergency Services Authority.

August 31, 2022

Municipalities held a public hearing on the proposed incorporation of the Emergency Services Authority.

September - December 2022

Municipalities considered enacting ordinances to incorporate the Emergency Services Authority.

February 7, 2023

Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

March 2023

Authority Board begins holding meetings.

Late Summer 2023

Public meeting to be held on the Authority’s services and fees.

Late 2023 / Early 2024

The Authority begins providing services.

Public Meeting Schedule

Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County Board Meetings are held at the Elizabethtown Borough office building at 600 South Hanover Street, Elizabethtown, PA

Wednesday, March 1 at 7 pm – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, March 15 at 7 pm – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, April 5 at 7 pm – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, April 19 at 7 pm – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, May 3 at 7 pm – Agenda
Wednesday, May 17 at 7 pm – Canceled

Emergency Services Authority FAQs

You would pay an annual fee on par with today’s Northwest EMS subscription rates (between $70-$85), or your municipality would pay the authority (depending on your municipality’s arrangement with the authority). Actual fees would be determined once the authority is incorporated.

Municipal residents would not receive residual bills if their insurance pays toward an ambulance bill. Residents would receive 50% off their ambulance bill if they have no insurance or if their entire ambulance bill went toward their insurance deductible.

State law requires that Pennsylvania municipalities ensure that EMS services are provided to their residents. If a municipality chooses not to participate with the new regional authority, it will have to find another way to fulfill its obligation to provide EMS services, including financing and operating such services.

September – December 2022

Municipalities consider enacting ordinances to incorporate the Emergency Services Authority.

January 2023

Newly formed Authority begins to hold public meetings.

Spring 2023

Public meeting held on the Authority’s services and fees.

Late 2023 / Early 2024

The Authority begins providing services.