Hecktown Ambulance Corps Disbands After 51 Years
The Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors have unanimously approved a motion to disband the Hecktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
The Hecktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps has been disbanded after 51 years of service in Lower Nazareth Township.
The decision came 16 days earlier than expected, the report adds, and the Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company transitioned as Lower Nazareth’s new EMS provider at midnight Thursday.
“It comes with much surprise, heartache, and sadness that the Lower Nazareth Township has decided to close our organization effective immediately.
“We understand the decision was made at the Township meeting on Wednesday February 27, 2013 with no one from Hecktown being present. We also had learned that same meeting the township manager Timm Tenges had stated "We wanted to provide assurance to our residents that they were going to have the appropriate EMS service available to them. So why wait?”
It is with the utmost respect to the members of the Hecktown Volunteer Ambulance Corp how you conducted yourself over the last 50 years.
The members of the Hecktown Volunteer Ambulance Corp would like to thank the community for your support throughout the years.
Bruce A. Vakiener, president of the Hecktown board of directors, told The Express-Times in January that a state mandate requiring two paid emergency medical technicians at the station at all times and a drop in billable calls led to the shutdown.
According to www.hecktownems.org, the Hecktown Ambulance Corps responded to 746 calls in 2012 and 101 calls in the first two months of 2013.
Commenters on Hecktown’s Facebook page are sad to see the organization's demise.
Jay Steranko: And sadly its only going to put a bigger strain on an already over worked EMS system. Its never good to see an ambulance service stop operations. While I'm not from your area, I wish you all the best. (sic)
Jo-Anne Thomas: So sad. They were a great asset to their community.
David Mutton: Thank You all for your services you have given the area. It will be missed very much, people will see the good you did for them and money you [saved] the tax payers.
In Sept. 2011, the Hecktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house at Trinity Lutheran Church.
The Municipal Band of Allentown performed while fireworks illuminated the church's exterior, and church volunteers served everything from sausage sandwiches to funnel cake—all to help raise money for the ambulance corps.
Sandy Mennick, a volunteer since 1985, took time out of the celebration to discuss changes within the organization.
“We [the ambulance corps] used to be more like a family," Mennick said. "We were all volunteer, but with some recent changes to regulations and the economy being so rough, we’re having a hard time getting people who can volunteer."
Hecktown isn’t the first EMS organization to be shuttered. The Forks Township Board of Supervisors in Oct. 2008 named Suburban Emergency Medical Services the community's sole ambulance provider, according to a report in The Morning Call.