This is part of a weekly series that highlights the organizations or people behind one of the Foundation’s funds.
In 1941, when Centre LifeLink EMS first started, it was part of the Alpha Fire Company and it had just one ambulance and four volunteers. Now it’s an independent organization with seven ambulances and 55 volunteers who contributed more than 14,000 hours last year.
Centre LifeLink EMS is a non-profit organization that provides emergency and non-emergency transport services (they take an average of 19 calls every day) in the State College Borough and Ferguson, Harris, College and Patton townships.
“Whenever people have emergency medical situations, we’re there for them,” said Meg Grippi, Marketing, Development, and Relationship Manager for Centre LifeLink.
Volunteers are willing to commit so much time to the organization because they know they’re doing an important service for the community, and they’re reminded of that any time they mention the organization, Grippi said.
“Recently I was at an event and a couple of people were talking about how we had helped them out in a situation that was scary for them,” Grippi said. “There’s something really positive about coming to work and being at a company that is concerned about citizens. It’s not about making money. It’s about continuing the mission we’ve been working on for so many years.”
Centre LifeLink doesn’t receive any municipal tax money to provide its services. Their operating expenses, totaling more than $1 million each year, are funded entirely through annual membership drives, third party reimbursements and donations.
Money from the Centre County Community Foundation’s Centre LifeLink EMS Endowment Fund has been put toward capital purchases, including ambulances and training mannequins. The Foundation also assists Centre LifeLink with its scholarships for State College Area High School students.
The services provided by Centre LifeLink EMS are vital because quality emergency medical care can be the difference between life and death for patients, Grippi said.
“Centre LifeLink’s mission affects so many people in the Centre Region regardless of age or income level, or whether they are permanent residents or college students. Centre LifeLink is dedicated to performing at the highest level for the community,” Grippi said.
To find out more about volunteering at Centre LifeLink EMS, call (814) 237-8163.