"Your Life is our Mission"

The mission of South Central EMS is to meet the needs and exceed expectations for excellence in pre-hospital care and transportation by providing cost effective, response time sensitive, patient oriented care through our highly trained staff of professional, caring individuals.

Response Area

South Central EMS, Inc. provides Advanced and Basic Life Support Services to 8 municipalities in Dauphin County Pennsylvania. Dauphin County is the seat of government for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our communities are all located in the Metropolitan Harrisburg area.

Our primary 9-1-1 response area includes Lower Paxton, East Hanover, and West Hanover Townships, and the northern section of South Hanover Township in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Our primary response area increased in July, 2003, to include the Boroughs of Middletown, Royalton, and Highspire. In addition South Central EMS provides Advanced Life Support Service to Londonderry Township as well.  All emergency coverage is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our History

The first ambulance was a 1948 Buick Ambulance donated to the three fire companies by Mr. Samueal Mummert, then President of the Lower Paxton Township Lions Club. By the year's end, the ambulance company, comprised entirely of volunteers, responded to 63 calls, repaid the $50.00 start up costs to each of the fire companies and earned $800.00 in assets.

The first ambulances were housed at the Colonial Park Firehouse and the Paxtonia Firehouse.  During this time the name of the organization was changed to "The Lower Paxton Volunteer Firemen's Ambulance Association."

When the first station was built in 1975 the annual call volume had risen to 1,614.  The company now increased the fleet to 3 trucks. That original station has been demolished and rebuilt on the same grounds, at 5531 Poplar Street in Lower Paxton Township, directly behind the Paxtonia Firehouse, in order to better suit our increase in the amount of units within the fleet, due to the increase in call volume.

Call volume continued to increase and it was necessary to put on additional personnel. Volunteers working at the time were unable to keep up with the emergency medical demands of a growing community. In 1977 the first two paid Emergency Medical Technicians were hired. The company continued to operate with a combination of paid personnel and volunteers, but the list of volunteers decreased steadily. Paid personnel out-numbered the volunteers by 1986, leading to another name change for the organization. The company was now called "Lower Paxton Emergency Medical Services."

On March 24th 1957, the joint Executive Boards of the Colonial Park, Linglestown, and Paxtonia Fire Companies held a business meeting to discuss the organization of a local ambulance service in Lower Paxton Township. Each fire company contributed $50.00 toward the start-up of the company and held the first organization meeting on March 27th 1957 at the Linglestown Fire Company. The new ambulance organization was called "The Firemen's Ambulance Association of Lower Paxton Township" and provided emergency medical services to Lower Paxton Township and West Hanover Townships in Dauphin County, PA.

ambulance, antique, buick

In addition to the many changes the company was facing due to the increasing call volume, far greater changes were taking place in the emergency medical services industry. These changes dealt with quicker response possibilities, new medical technology and equipment, and reimbursement regulations. The organization made many adjustments to adapt to the rapid changes taking place in EMS, including the expansion to a regional operation. The organization expanded the primary emergency response area to include East Hanover Township and the northern half of South Hanover Township. This expansion in area increased the number of emergency calls, therefore increasing revenue, so that the communities being served could receive the best care available. Along with the growth in geographic area, the company name was changed one more time to "South Central Emergency Medical Services, Inc."

Current Fleet

Notice of Privacy Practices for Protected Health Information
 

45 CFR 164.520   (Download a copy in PDF – PDF)

Background 

The HIPAA Privacy Rule gives individuals a fundamental new right to be informed of the privacy practices of their health plans and of most of their health care providers, as well as to be informed of their privacy rights with respect to their personal health information. Health plans and covered health care providers are required to develop and distribute a notice that provides a clear explanation of these rights and practices. The notice is intended to focus individuals on privacy issues and concerns, and to prompt them to have discussions with their health plans and health care providers and exercise their rights.
 

How the Rule Works
General Rule. The Privacy Rule provides that an individual has a right to adequate notice of how a covered entity may use and disclose protected health information about the individual, as well as his or her rights and the covered entity’s obligations with respect to that information. Most covered entities must develop and provide individuals with this notice of their privacy practices. The Privacy Rule does not require the following covered entities to develop a notice:

  •  Health care clearinghouses, if the only protected health information they create or receive is as a business associate of another covered entity. See 45 CFR 164.500(b)(1).

  •  A correctional institution that is a covered entity (e.g., that has a covered health care provider component).

  • A group health plan that provides benefits only through one or more contracts of insurance with health insurance issuers or HMOs, and that does not create or receive protected health information other than summary health information or enrollment or disenrollment information. See 45 CFR 164.520(a).
     

Content of the Notice. Covered entities are required to provide a notice in plain language that describes:

  • How the covered entity may use and disclose protected health information about an individual.

  • The individual’s rights with respect to the information and how the individual may exercise these rights, including how the individual may complain to the covered entity.

  • The covered entity’s legal duties with respect to the information, including a statement that the covered entity is required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information.

  • Whom individuals can contact for further information about the covered entity’s privacy policies.
     

The notice must include an effective date. See 45 CFR 164.520(b) for the specific requirements for developing the content of the notice. A covered entity is required to promptly revise and distribute its notice whenever it makes material changes to any of its privacy practices. See 45 CFR 164.520(b)(3), 164.520(c)(1)(i)(C) for health plans, and 164.520(c)(2)(iv) for covered health care providers with direct treatment relationships with individuals.
 

Providing the Notice.

  • A covered entity must make its notice available to any person who asks for it.

  • A covered entity must prominently post and make available its notice on any web site it maintains that provides information about its customer services or benefits.

  • Health Plans must also:

    • Provide the notice to individuals then covered by the plan no later than April 14, 2003 (April 14, 2004, for small health plans) and to new enrollees at the time of enrollment.

    • Provide a revised notice to individuals then covered by the plan within 60 days of a material revision.

    • Notify individuals then covered by the plan of the availability of and how to obtain the notice at least once every three years.

  • Covered Direct Treatment Providers must also:

    • Provide the notice to the individual no later than the date of first service delivery (after the April 14, 2003 compliance date of the Privacy Rule) and, except in an emergency treatment situation, make a good faith effort to obtain the individual’s written acknowledgment of receipt of the notice. If an acknowledgment cannot be obtained, the provider must document his or her efforts to obtain the acknowledgment and the reason why it was not obtained.

    • When first service delivery to an individual is provided over the Internet, through e-mail, or otherwise electronically, the provider must send an electronic notice automatically and contemporaneously in response to the individual’s first request for service. The provider must make a good faith effort to obtain a return receipt or other transmission from the individual in response to receiving the notice.

    • In an emergency treatment situation, provide the notice as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so after the emergency situation has ended. In these situations, providers are not required to make a good faith effort to obtain a written acknowledgment from individuals.

    • Make the latest notice (i.e., the one that reflects any changes in privacy policies) available at the provider’s office or facility for individuals to request to take with them, and post it in a clear and prominent location at the facility.

  • A covered entity may e-mail the notice to an individual if the individual agrees to receive an electronic notice. See 45 CFR 164.520(c) for the specific requirements for providing the notice.
     

Organizational Options.

  • Any covered entity, including a hybrid entity or an affiliated covered entity, may choose to develop more than one notice, such as when an entity performs different types of covered functions (i.e., the functions that make it a health plan, a health care provider, or a health care clearinghouse) and there are variations in its privacy practices among these covered functions. Covered entities are encouraged to provide individuals with the most specific notice possible.

  • Covered entities that participate in an organized health care arrangement may choose to produce a single, joint notice if certain requirements are met. For example, the joint notice must describe the covered entities and the service delivery sites to which it applies. If any one of the participating covered entities provides the joint notice to an individual, the notice distribution requirement with respect to that individual is met for all of the covered entities. See 45 CFR 164.520(d).
     

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions about the Privacy Rule.

OCR HIPAA Privacy
December 3, 2002 Revised April 3, 2003