07 July 2005


The NKNOC Labs was stunned to hear the news that Arnold, PA EMS Station 101 has closed its doors for good. We thank all of the men & women who gave of their time and compassion to help others in need for all of those years. Good luck & God Speed to all. See related news story below.

Arnold Ambulance Service closes suddenly

Jason Walker
Wednesday, July 6, 2005

New Kensington Fire Chief Ed Saliba said New Kensington Ambulance Service will have no problem taking over calls for Arnold Ambulance Service, which closed its doors without advance notice Tuesday night.

Station 101 -- Arnold Ambulance Service -- signed off about 9 p.m. Tuesday, and New Kensington Ambulance took over all calls for the city.

It was unclear what prompted the closing. Several employees at the ambulance company's building in Arnold Tuesday night didn't want to comment. They referred questions to the ambulance company's attorney, Philip McCalister, who didn't return phone messages left at his office and his home.

The closure puts about 20 people out of work.

The closure came as a surprise to many as even Saliba said he never received any official notice that Arnold Ambulance was shutting down operations.

"I had heard they were having some problems, but I didn't kno what they were," Saliba said. "I'm surprised we were never notified officially about it."

Saliba said Westmoreland 911 dispatchers automatically know New Kensington's ambulance company is Arnold's backup.

He assured Arnold residents that their service won't suffer.

"We'll take care of the residents of Arnold as well as Arnold took care of them, if not better," Saliba said.

"We have enough resources to take care of Arnold."

Arnold Mayor John Campbell, who's also on the Arnold ambulance company's board of directors, couldn't be reached for comment late Tuesday. Arnold Councilman John Tedorski, another Arnold Ambulance director, also referred questions to McCalister.

"It would be in bad taste for me to say anything right now," Tedorski said.

It's no secret Arnold Ambulance was trying to cut costs by selling its building at the bottom of Drey Street. However, officials never indicated that they were going to close.

Officials said in April they wanted to build a new building on property the company owns at Constitution Boulevard and Moore Street.

Officials had said calls dropped dramatically when Citizens General Hospital in New Kensington closed several years ago.

City officials have expressed an interest in purchasing the seven-year-old building. Tedorski confirmed Tuesday that the city's interest in the building has not waned.

"We're negotiating with that," Tedorski said.

He said plans for the building are still open.

The state intended the 9,800-square-foot building to be a regional center for emissions testing, but when the emissions testing plan fell apart, the state sold the building to the ambulance company.