The Local Solution to
Our Local Emergency
Services Crisis

Ensuring EMS continues to be
available in Northwest Lancaster

A New Regional
Emergency Services

Led by local municipalities.
Guided by local residents.

Have a Question?

Submit your question and we’ll answer it as soon as possible.

Public Hearing on Annual Estimated Fees
September 28, 2023, 7-9 pm
Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church
996 East High Street, Elizabethtown, PA

Locally Controlled
Dedicated 911 EMS Service

Seven municipalities in the northwest region of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, have incorporated the Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County, a first-of-its-kind regional municipal authority to address the region’s emergency medical services crisis.

The Authority will fund, manage and provide EMS services to member municipalities. The founding municipalities are Conoy Township, East Donegal Township, Elizabethtown Borough, Elizabeth Township, Marietta Borough, Mount Joy Township and West Donegal Township.

MESA was formed because the municipalities recognized that EMS services are at risk. Locally, Northwest EMS (like EMS agencies across the state) is facing insolvency due to funding shortfalls and soaring costs. Less than half of the residents served by Northwest EMS contribute through its subscription-based model.

The municipalities needed a bold solution to meet their statutory obligation to provide EMS services.

The Local EMS Crisis

Emergency medical services in the northwestern portion of Lancaster County are provided by Northwest EMS, a non-profit organization that traces its roots to the merger of the Elizabethtown Fire Company Ambulance and the Northwest Advanced Life Support Unit in January 2000.

Why was the Municipal Authority formed?

MESA was formed because the municipalities recognized that the future of emergency services is at risk. Locally, Northwest EMS (like EMS agencies across the state) is facing insolvency due to funding shortfalls and soaring costs. The municipalities needed a bold solution to meet their statutory obligation to provide EMS services.

EMS in Northwest Lancaster is at Risk

While we are truly fortunate to have Northwest EMS as the emergency medical services provider in our community, the organization’s future is at risk. Why? Insufficient revenue and rising costs.

The bottom line: Northwest EMS has operated at a deficit over the past six years. The expected budget shortfall for 2022 is over $500,000. Unless this crisis is addressed, Northwest EMS will be insolvent in a few years.

The Solution: A New Community
Model for EMS Services

Municipal leaders and the Northwest EMS Board of Directors have been meeting quarterly since 2018. At the start of 2021, a committee of Northwest EMS leaders, volunteers and local municipal leaders began studying this situation and exploring alternatives.

The committee is proposing the creation of a regional Emergency Services Authority, which will address the challenges that jeopardize emergency services in our community and fulfill the statutory requirement for municipalities to provide EMS services with more fiscal stability.

The bottom line: The new EMS authority would ensure that EMS services continue to be available in our community 24/7/365, potentially saving your life or the life of your loved one.

Authority Municipal Members

Northwest Lancaster Municipal Partners

Local municipalities are joining together to address the local EMS crisis

Municipalities that have enacted ordinances to join the regional Emergency Services Authority (as of Jan. 24, 2023):


Summer 2018

NWEMS leadership began meeting with local elected officials quarterly to bring attention to EMS funding challenges

July 2021

Subcommittee of local elected officials, NWEMS leadership and municipal staff began meeting monthly to develop a long-term solution to the local EMS crisis

January 2022

Subcommittee began meeting twice a month and, based on an assessment, provided a recommendation to local municipalities to form an EMS Authority

June / July 2022

Municipalities confirmed intent/interest to join the Emergency Services Authority.

August 31, 2022

Municipalities held a public hearing on the proposed incorporation of the Emergency Services Authority.

September 7, 2022

Public meeting held to present more information about the proposed EMS Authority and answer questions

September - December 2022

Municipalities enacted ordinances to incorporate the Emergency Services Authority.

February 7, 2023

Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

March 2023

Authority Board began holding public meetings

Sept. 28, 2023

Public hearing to be held on the Authority’s estimated fees

Early 2024

The Authority plans to begin providing services

Public Meeting Schedule

Municipal Emergency Services Authority of Lancaster County Board Meetings are held at the Elizabethtown Borough office building at 600 South Hanover Street, Elizabethtown, PA

Wednesday, Mar. 1 – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, Mar. 15 – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, Apr. 5 – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, Apr. 19 – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, May 3 – Agenda | 
Wednesday, May 17 – Canceled
Wednesday, Jun. 7 – Agenda | 
Wednesday, Jun. 21  – 
Agenda Minutes
Wednesday, July 5 – Agenda | Minutes

Wednesday, July 19 – Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, Aug. 2  – 
Agenda | Minutes
Wednesday, Aug. 16  – Agenda | Minutes

Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7 pm – 
Wednesday, Sept 20 at 7 pm – 

Emergency Services Authority FAQs

You would pay an annual fee on par with today’s Northwest EMS subscription rates (between $70-$85), or your municipality would pay the authority (depending on your municipality’s arrangement with the authority). Actual fees would be determined once the authority is incorporated.

Municipal residents would not receive residual bills if their insurance pays toward an ambulance bill. Residents would receive 50% off their ambulance bill if they have no insurance or if their entire ambulance bill went toward their insurance deductible.

State law requires that Pennsylvania municipalities ensure that EMS services are provided to their residents. If a municipality chooses not to participate with the new regional authority, it will have to find another way to fulfill its obligation to provide EMS services, including financing and operating such services.

September – December 2022

Municipalities consider enacting ordinances to incorporate the Emergency Services Authority.

January 2023

Newly formed Authority begins to hold public meetings.

Spring 2023

Public meeting held on the Authority’s services and fees.

Late 2023 / Early 2024

The Authority begins providing services.