HOLLIDAYSBURG - The Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Service is conducting its annual membership fund drive.
The nonprofit organization provides emergency and non-emergency ambulance transportation and wheelchair van (paratransit) services 24/7.
Donald Edelblute, Director of Operations, said, "We have been operating since 1939 and mailing memberships to supplement our organization for the past 50 years. We receive no federal money, and all revenues are from ambulance and wheelchair van billing. If we provide a service, we bill for it, and that is how we generate revenue."
Members of the Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Service include (from left): Donald Edelblute, director of operations/paramedic; Beth Johnson, transport coordinator/emergency medical technician; Terry Smith, van attendant; and Rod Estep Sr., van attendant.
The service owns/operates seven ambulances, one paramedic Intercept Jeep and three wheelchair vans.
Edelblute said primary coverage areas include Hollidaysburg Borough, Frankstown Township, parts of Blair Township, parts of Allegheny Township, Martinsburg Borough, Huston Township, Woodbury Township and North Woodbury Township. It also provides paramedic assistance to Williamsburg Borough, Catharine Township, Huntingdon and Bedford counties.
At the end of every February, approximately 10,000 membership applications are mailed.
According to Edelblute, of those 10,000 memberships mailed, only about 2,100 (22 percent) of households purchase a membership.
"It is important to make sure you are purchasing a membership from the ambulance service that covers the area in which you live because other ambulance services also send out membership drives," Edelblute said.
The annual cost is $45 per household membership, which covers everyone in that household. Memberships cover the co-pays, deductibles, and/or in some cases balances for ambulance transports.
Donations are accepted and encouraged. Edelblute said, "Donations are encouraged to help keep the cost of memberships down. We have not raised the cost of membership in a few years in an effort to keep memberships affordable to those who are just getting by. Donations will help us support this effort."
Edelblute also states, "Donations can also help the service in renewing our fleet with new ambulances that costs approximately $150,000 each.''
Donations can be sent to Main Headquarters, 801 Scotch Valley Road, P.O. Box 461, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648-0641 or can be mailed in with your membership purchase.
For more information, call 695-1421.