Western Berks Ambulance Association provides both BLS and ALS emergency services to a 120+ square mile area in Western Berks County, Pennsylvania. We operate 15 ambulances, 6 wheelchair vans, and a Supervisor’s vehicle out of three stations. Our staff of highly trained Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians handle thousands of emergency calls and non-emergency transports per year. The service area, call volume, staff, and the types of service we offer make us the largest non-profit ambulance service in Berks County. Our service area consists of a diverse rural/suburban area with both high and low populations.
Our population increases drastically during the work week due to large office and industrial work forces that commute into the area daily, along with a busy holiday season with outlet shoppers commuting in from out of state by mass transit. We also provide non-emergency BLS and ALS transports to the residents of Berks County. With our wheelchair units we offer transportation to and from prescheduled Doctor appointments and have a PUC license to provide other transportation. For more information on the types of services we provide, please go to our services page. There is a lot of information about us within our web site. We have tried to answer most of the more common questions that we hear, however we realize that you might want to know more. If you do have any questions please contact us.
Western Berks Ambulance Association was founded on October 21, 1961 by seven members of the West Lawn Lions Club. Each of these seven members contributed $5.00 each to secure a loan to purchase a second hand ambulance. For many years the ambulance was housed at the West Lawn Fire Company, then the West Lawn Municipal Garage. In 1971, Western Berks Ambulance built their headquarters at 2506 Belmont Avenue in West Lawn. This building housed two Cadillac ambulances, provided ample room to the volunteers for training and recreation, bunk rooms, and some office space. Upholding the pioneering attitude in Emergency Medical Services, the corps purchased the first Type III “Modular” ambulance in the area in 1977. Then, in 1983, expanded its services to include Advanced Life Support.
Western Berks Ambulance was the first volunteer agency in the area to adopt the concept of the Mobile Intensive Care Unit, being able to treat and transport the sick and injured by utilizing one vehicle and crew (a system that was believed would never work) as opposed to two separate vehicles. Volunteers accounted for countless hours of training, duty hours, and management. But like many volunteer based organizations, this invaluable human resource was becoming strained. With the implementation of Pennsylvania’s Emergency Medical Services Act of 1985 (PA Act 45), Western Berks Ambulance needed to conform to the staffing requirements set forth by the act, thus guaranteeing 24 hour, 7 day availability of ALS service to the community. Western Berks Ambulance opened several career opportunities to Paramedics, EMT’s, and clerical workers which has blossomed over the years.
H. David Miller, Past Chairman
Board of Directors