Commonwealth Health To Take Over Lackawanna Ambulance

SCRANTON – Newswatch 16 has learned of a takeover that involves ambulance service in our area.

Commonwealth Health has signed an agreement to buy Lackawanna Ambulance, a private ambulance company that also runs Wayne Ambulance.

A private ambulance company in Lackawanna County is changing its ownership.

Commonwealth Health’s Moses Taylor Hospital says it is in the process of buying Lackawanna Ambulance which includes Wayne Ambulance.

For several years Lackawanna Ambulance has served Lackawanna and Wayne Counties as a private first response company.

Now Lackawanna Ambulance, which also includes Wayne Ambulance, will soon be owned by Commonwealth Health`s Moses Taylor Hospital.

At the Washington West Apartments in downtown Scranton, these residents say they feel Lackawanna Ambulance has provided good service.

“I`m a two-time cancer survivor since 2006 and this past time I need them to go for rehabilitation and they were always there,” said Steven Glowatz.

The for-profit Commonwealth Health says the sale will actually enhance transport services and some at the apartment complex hope it does.

“I hope they do it because we really need it, when we need it, we need it, you know?” said Victorine Bidwell.   “And I think it would be a great idea if they would.”

Commonwealth says patients will still go to their hospital of choice.

But some in Scranton are skeptical.

“They may put it to where if a Moses Taylor call came in and a CMC, well Moses Taylor, it`s our ambulance, our call gets done first,” said Linda Kochis.

A spokesperson at Geisinger Community Medical Center, another Scranton-based hospital, says CMC has the only trauma center in Lackawanna County.

Regardless of who owns Lackawanna Ambulance, all trauma patients must go to CMC.

Commonwealth also says all Lackawanna Ambulance staff in good standing at the close of the sale will be hired into the same positions and the current administration team will remain in place.

Still some worry there could be lay-offs in the future.

“The ambulances that we have they`re getting fewer and far between, we did have several of them at one time and now we`re down to very few,” said Kochis.

Commonwealth Health owns two of the three hospitals in Scranton.

It also owns Regional Hospital, the former Mercy Hospital.

Lackawanna Ambulance employs about 200 people.

The ambulance company is holding off on commenting until it meets Monday night with its workers.