Sarah Miller said when her daughter, Carleigh Jo Hufford, 3, had a seizure at daycare, an ambulance from Shickshinny responded. The reason - ambulance board members and personnel around Newport Township and Nanticoke weren't getting along, according to township officials.
Shickshinny is approximately 10 miles from Newport Township.
Acknowledging that it wouldn't happen again, Chairman Paul Czapracki said he decided last month to make Berwick Area Ambulance, positioned in Shickshinny, to be the first advanced life support service dispatched by Luzerne County 911. The move replaced nearby Nanticoke's advanced life support response team.
In a complicated and convoluted statement, Czapracki said friction existing between Nanticoke and Newport Township's ambulance company led the township to make arrangements with other providers. When pressed on how the township would approve an agreement to have an ambulance service respond from 10 miles away, Czapracki said he and another commissioner made the decision and did not include the full board of commissioners for approval.
Another commissioner said at a township meeting Monday night, the agreement directing Berwick Area Ambulance in Shickshinny to respond first to Newport Township was never actually valid since it lacked the full board of commissioners' approval.
Late last week, township officials reversed their decision and again signed on with Nanticoke as first advanced life support responder.
As for Carleigh Jo - her mother says she will have an MRI later this month to determine the cause of her seizures.
"I don't want this to ever happen again to somebody else's child," said Miller. "And if this is a bunch of politics or people not getting along, why should a child have to pay for that?"