ems week

Centre LifeLink EMS Celebrates National EMS Week

National EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week kicked off on May 17 and runs through May 23. EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services on medicine’s front-line.

Centre LifeLink EMS provides emergency care to over 80,000 residents of the Centre Region area and has continued to meet the “gold standard” of ambulance services, as defined by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, for over 20 years. We are one of only five services in the state of Pennsylvania to hold this accreditation.

This week at Centre LifeLink, we celebrate our staff and volunteers who responded to 6,336 ambulance calls in 2019, as well as 1,188 non-emergency van trips, for an average of 21 calls per day. Additionally, our volunteers contributed over 9,000 volunteer hours in 2019.

This year’s EMS Week theme is “Ready today. Preparing for tomorrow.” This theme is particularly meaningful now as we see the EMS community supporting those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, all while responding to the everyday emergencies that continue to occur in our community.

Centre LifeLink EMS is proud of the dedication and commitment our staff and volunteers show our community and patients each day. While we won’t be hosting any public gatherings to acknowledge these men and women during EMS Week, we encourage our community members to join us in thanking our paramedics, EMTs, and non-emergency transport staff for all that they do.

Centre LifeLink Annual Award Recipients

Centre LifeLink Annual Award Recipients

Since our Annual Awards Banquet has been postponed due to the pandemic, Executive Director Scott Rawson announced our 2019 Annual Award recipients at the monthly staff meeting. Congratulations and thank you for all of your hard work. We hope to acknowledge everyone in-person, eventually. Here are the award recipients:

Years of Service Awards

5 Years:

Brian Atherton

Susan Berbec

Bradley Harlos

10 Years:

Ryan Etzel

15 Years:

Nathan Shadle


2019 Awards

4th Most Hours: Tom Masullo, 386 hours

3rd Most Hours: Emily Barton, 495 hours

2nd Most Hours: Raegan Donohue, 541 hours

Most Volunteer Hours: Noah Al Mohannadi, 1,217 hours


3rd Most Calls: Emily Barton, 119 calls

2nd Most Calls: Raegan Donohue, 149 calls

Most Volunteer Calls: Noah Al Mohannadi, 436 calls


EMS Educator of the Year: Hilary Anderson

Tactical Medic of the Year: Kent Knable

Van Driver of the Year: Thomas Dillman

Career Paramedic of the Year: Matthew Burnheimer

Career EMT of the Year: Cassandra Lageman

Volunteer of the Year: Emily Barton

Centre LifeLink EMS Urges Community Members to Seek Medical Care When Needed

Centre LifeLink EMS urges community members to seek medical care when needed, amidst pandemic. We are encountering an increasing number of patients who have delayed seeking medical attention in efforts to stay at home, and as a result, are severely-ill, if not dying, unnecessarily. This is a statement from Centre LifeLink’s Medical Director, Dr. Cliff Neal on the matter: 

“No question about it, this is a difficult time. The COVID-19 pandemic is of a caliber that few of us have ever experienced.  Media information is contradictory and conflicts in suggested medical management of the disease are frequent.   In Pennsylvania, we have lost over 1,600 lives to COVID-19 related illness. In Centre County, our local hospital has prepared and is ready to manage this pandemic. They are using the most up to date treatments and prevention control.  As a result, we have only seen two deaths related to COVID-19.   We should, however, not become complacent.  This is a disease to be reckoned with, and people are frightened.  That is human nature, and it’s okay to be scared.

The encouraging news is that Pennsylvanians have done our part. Through social distancing and isolation, we have accomplished flattening an otherwise ominous curve.  Statistically, as of April 18, we have shown some stability, and hopefully are entering a recovery stage.

Through all of this, we are unfortunately finding our patients waiting too long to call for help; many becoming seriously ill, and some needlessly dying as a result. Serious infection, heart attacks, strokes, medical and traumatic emergencies are still occurring. We understand that you have been told to stay home, and thankfully most of you have.  If you have mild illness, this is still the best plan. However, if you are seriously ill, or have a condition which needs further care, we are here to help.  Please do not hesitate to call your primary care provider or 911.”

We Need Your Support

We Need Your Support

Many community members have reached out to us over the past weeks asking how they can support Centre LifeLink EMS and our staff during this challenging time. From donations of N95 masks, to food and coffee for our crews, the outpour of support we have received is remarkable.

Another way you can support Centre LifeLink is through our annual Membership Campaign, or by making a tax-deductible donation. These funds will help us to offset the costs of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently experiencing low call volumes that will financially impact our operations down the road. We have also incurred the unexpected expense of purchasing the appropriate protective supplies and equipment for our crew members.


Memberships are available for $55/individual and $75/family, per calendar year, online here, or by phone at (814)237-8163. Members receive unlimited 911 emergency medical services, provided by Centre LifeLink EMS. After any available insurance is billed, you will not be responsible for any co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses.


Tax-deductible donations may be made online at here, or by mail:

Centre LifeLink EMS
PO Box 272

State College, PA 16804

We are also accepting donations of N95 masks. Please call (814)237-8163 or email Lshurgalla@centrelifelink.com to coordinate.

We are continuously inspired by the generosity of the community that we serve and thank you for your support.


A message about COVID-19

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak develops and officials learn more about the virus, Centre LifeLink EMS is participating in daily calls and meetings internally and externally to remain informed and prepared based on the most current information and guidance provided by state and federal officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Department of Health.  Our main focus is to ensure we meet our patient’s needs while doing our part to keep our employees and our communities safe.

What do to if you are sick

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, call your doctor. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, call your doctor for medical advice.

If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

When to call 911

As always, Centre LifeLink EMS remains dedicated to being here for our community members when you experience an emergency.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatcher that you have or think you might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.

Please note that if you call 911 with possible COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. shortness of breath), they will ask you a series of questions so that our staff can take precautionary measures.

If you are transported to the hospital via one of our ambulances,  please be aware that we are suspending allowing most non-patients from riding in our ambulances. Only ONE parent of a minor patient (or other legal guardian/responsible individual) will be permitted to ride with us to the hospital.

All other individuals will need to arrange their own transportation to the hospital.

Who is most at risk?

Older adults and people with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. If you are at higher risk, you should:

Keep your distance from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often

Keep two weeks’ worth of prescription and over-the-counter medicines and other medical supplies, groceries and household goods on hand

Stay at home and practice “social distancing” to reduce your risk of exposure

What you can do

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Stay at least 3 feet away from individuals who are coughing and sneezing

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Stay home, other than for medical appointments, if you are sick

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

As we continue to monitor this situation, Centre LifeLink EMS will communicate any updates in the coming weeks. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at cdc.gov.

2020 State Patty’s Numbers

March 2, 2020—Centre LifeLink EMS staff saw a slight increase in call volume over the State Patty’s weekend; but there was a decrease in alcohol-related calls.

Centre LifeLink was dispatched to 49 calls between 6:00 pm Friday evening, through 12:00 am Sunday morning. Approximately 57% of these calls were alcohol related, meaning that the patient had overdosed on alcohol or had suffered some other illness or injury that was related to alcohol consumption.

For comparison, in 2019 Centre LifeLink responded to 34 total calls, of which 75% were alcohol related on State Patty’s weekend.



Centre LifeLink EMS – Pennsylvania CARES Award

Centre LifeLink EMS – Pennsylvania CARES Award

Centre LifeLink EMS has received the Pennsylvania CARES Award. The award acknowledges the agency’s dedication to collecting out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) data for quality improvement purposes. The agency is one of 145 EMS agencies across the Commonwealth honored by Pennsylvania CARES during October in observance of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.

Each year, more than 350,000 people in the United States experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. By participating in Pennsylvania CARES, Centre LifeLink EMS demonstrates commitment to saving lives by strengthening the links in the OHCA chain of survival.

Pennsylvania CARES is a statewide partner of the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), a national cardiac arrest registry that allows communities to measure bystander and 911 response, including information about bystander CPR and AED application, telephone CPR, and EMS response. Using this information, EMS agencies can discover promising practices and implement new programs to improve emergency care for patients in their communities, and participation in a national registry is recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Recipients of this year’s Pennsylvania CARES Award successfully participated in the registry for the 2018 calendar year and are commended for collecting data, in collaboration with and on behalf of BLS, first responder, and community partners, to measure outcomes, improve the quality of care, and save lives.

Centre LifeLinks’s dedication to collecting OHCA data has helped strengthen the collaboration between 911 centers, first responders, EMS agencies and hospitals, with the ultimate goal to improve OHCA survival rates. For more information on CARES and the benefits of cardiac arrest data collection, please visit the national CARES website (https://mycares.net) and see the Pennsylvania CARES program website (https://smemsc.org/index.php/programareas/138-2/ ). More information about sudden cardiac arrest is available from the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/docs/cardiac-arrest-infographic.pdf.

2020 Membership Drive

State College, PA- The 2020 Centre LifeLink membership campaign is officially under way. Each fall, Centre Region residents are encouraged to enroll as a Centre LifeLink member, ensuring them that they will have no out-of-pocket expenses for unlimited emergency ambulance service provided by Centre LifeLink EMS. Memberships are available beginning this week and residents in Centre LifeLink’s coverage area will receive a membership brochure with information on how to participate.

Members can save an average of $800 for basic life support calls and more than $1,500 for advanced life support paramedic service — these are the average costs nonmembers pay. Individual memberships cost $55 and family memberships cost $75 for a one-year period beginning Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2020.

Residents of the Centre Region will receive 2020 membership brochures in the mail this week, and registration is also open online at www.centrelifelink.com. Membership brochures will also be available in local municipal buildings.

Centre LifeLink EMS receives American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Plus Recognition Award

Centre LifeLink EMS receives American Heart Association’s  Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Plus Recognition Award

State College, July 2019 — Centre LifeLink EMS has received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The Mission: Lifeline initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.

“Centre LifeLink is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Kent Knable, LifeLink’s EMS Chief. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission: Lifeline.”

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud Centre LifeLink EMS for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”


About Mission: Lifeline

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® program helps hospitals and emergency

medical services develop systems of care that follow proven standards and procedures for acute coronary syndrome patients. The program works by mobilizing teams across the continuum of care to implement American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology clinical treatment guidelines.  For more information, visit heart.org.

2018 CARES Report

May 15, 2019– The 2018 Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) report has been released, and Centre LifeLink EMS’ data is on pace with, and exceeding, National and State results.

Overall, Centre LifeLink’s return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was 29.6%; this number is on par with Pennsylvania (30.3%) and National (31.1%) data.  Over the last five years, LifeLink’s average ROSC has been 37%.  While getting a pulse back is important, having a patient discharged from the hospital with good neurological function is the goal.  In 2018, 11% of Cardiac Arrest patients were released from the hospital with good or moderate cerebral performance; this is several percentage points above the State (7%) and the National (8%) numbers.

The Centre Region Community and local law enforcement agencies are instrumental in these positive numbers. State College, Ferguson and Patton Township Police Departments respond on all medical emergencies in the Centre Region.  Data shows that officers are on scene within 4 minutes of being notified of a Cardiac Arrest.  They are all trained in CPR and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).   Between the Police and Bystanders, 93% of the time an AED has been applied prior to the ambulance arriving on scene.  70% of the time CPR is started by a family member or a concerned Bystander.  This number is 33% higher than the State and 30% higher than National data.

When a person goes into cardiac arrest it’s only a matter of minutes before cells in the body start to die. Starting CPR as soon as possible will help to extend that time frame.    By having someone start CPR quickly, much needed oxygenated blood is sent out to the vital organs to keep them alive until the heart can be restarted.

Centre LifeLink EMS conducts CPR several times a month for community members.  Please visit our web site at www.centrelifelink.com or call 814-237-8163 to register for a class.