Merger of Berwick Ambulance Association and Geisinger Finalized

On Monday, Aug. 6, Geisinger welcomed 57 employees of the Berwick Area Ambulance Association (BAAA) into the Geisinger family. The merger with Geisinger’s West Shore Advanced Life Support Services, Inc., which includes Danville Ambulance Service and Holy Spirit EMS–a Geisinger affiliate, was announced in February and approved by the Attorney General in the spring. A luncheon was held at Rolling Pines to celebrate the completion of the merger.

Under the agreement, Berwick Area Ambulance will continue its current mission and services. Operations in Berwick and the areas served by its satellite stations will continue unchanged, and the team will continue its active relationships and linkages with regional hospitals, nursing homes, EMS, police, fire and all others involved in the healthcare and protection of the community. Geisinger will provide medical direction.

The association operates eight ambulances, three wheelchair vans, one utility vehicle and one special event trailer. Services offered include emergency medical services, non-emergency medical services, Advanced Life Support (ALS), Basic Life Support (BLS), routine medical transportation and EMS billing services.

Boy Scout Building House for Homeless Veteran

A Boy Scout from the Berwick area is building a tiny house for a homeless veteran for his Eagle Scout project. The house will be located on Monroe Street in Berwick, in the midst of a 24-unit housing project being undertaken by Community Strategies Group. Local and state officials celebrated the Scout’s project at a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, July 31.

Tim Maron, a member of a troop in Hobbie, connected with Community Strategies Group by chance at an event at Test Track Park. The organization had ownership of a number of properties in the Borough as part of the Blueprint Communities project to provide affordable housing, and identified the lot for Maron’s Eagle Scout project. Checks totaling $50,000 were presented at the ceremony which should cover the construction costs.

The recipient of the home will be selected by Veterans Affairs.

Anyone who would like to support the project should contact Community Strategies Group at 570-784-9373 ext. 121.

Homeland Security Offers Workplace Safety Resources

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has online resources to help businesses and organizations avoid and plan for violent attacks. Know the warning signs of a possible attack through a vehicle ramming, crowded place, or active shooter situation. Informational resources, including action plan templates, are available at DHS’ website.

Thanks to the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency for providing the information.

Grants Available to Organizations From Pennsylvania’s Volkswagen Settlement Funds

As many are aware, Volkswagen was required to donate funds to the government as a result of its diesel emissions violations in 2015. In Pennsylvania, those funds were designated to reducing emissions from diesel engines throughout the state and there are multiple funds/grants that are scheduled to open soon that may be available and of interest to some member organizations. There will be grant money for items such as electric vehicle chargers for multifamily residences, public places and employers. There are also rebates for buses to transition to alternative fuels. 

Some programs are currently closed, but will be opening soon. The PA Department of Environmental Protection is administering these programs, and has set up a website with all of the pertinent information about the various programs and grants available. Any interested organizations or individuals can also sign up to be added to an email list to stay informed about grant application openings and deadlines. 

Northeast Environmental Partners Seeks Nominations For Environmental Partnership Awards

The Northeast Environmental Partners announce the “28th Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment” and are seeking a Call For Nominations for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards; the Thomas P. Shelburne Award and the Emerging Environmental Leader Award.

The Northeast Environmental Partners (Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Northeast Office, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University) are proud to announce that the 28th Annual Evening for Pennsylvania’s Environment will be held at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.  Additionally, nominations are being sought for the Twenty Eighth Annual Environmental Partnership Awards, the Twenty-fourth Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award and the 2018 Emerging Environmental Leader Award. These awards will all be presented at the dinner on Oct. 25. 

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Environmental Partnership Awards are presented annually to recognize the achievements of individuals or organizations that, through partnerships, have achieved excellence in environmental protection or conservation. The Evening showcases the Recipient of the Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award, which was established to recognize an individual who stands out for his or her long-term commitment to environmental quality through inspirational leadership, dedication and commitment to partnering.  The 2018 Emerging Environmental Leader Award will also be awarded to a youth who demonstrates young environmental leadership, creativity and dedication to inspire others to adopt similar actions to protect the environment.

“Northeastern Pennsylvanians have greatly benefited from the fruits of collaboration, which can be seen every day in our communities,” said Meg Welker, Sr. Environmental Professional at PPL and dinner planning committee chairperson. “Please help us identify those leading the charge so we can thank them for diligently working to improve our quality of life through environmental partnerships in our region.” 

The Awards are open to any group, individual, company, program, or organization whose work has had a positive impact on the environment in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s following counties; Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming.   

During the past 27 years, over 180 individuals and groups involved in agriculture, forestry, business, industry, education, science, environmental awareness, community service, and government have been honored. Nominations may be made by a person or persons involved in the activity, or by a third party. 

Nominations must be postmarked no later than July 18, 2018. 

Nomination form