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SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER v. DELAWARE COUNTY (04/03/89)

decided: April 3, 1989.

SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER, INC.
v.
DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND DELAWARE COUNTY COUNCIL AND DELAWARE COUNTY EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL, INC. AND CROZER-CHESTER MEDICAL CENTER. DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND DELAWARE COUNTY COUNCIL, APPELLANTS. SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER, INC. V. DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND DELAWARE COUNTY COUNCIL AND DELAWARE COUNTY EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL, INC. AND CROZER-CHESTER MEDICAL CENTER. DELAWARE COUNTY EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL, INC., APPELLANT. SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER, INC. V. DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, AND DELAWARE COUNTY COUNCIL AND DELAWARE COUNTY EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL, INC. AND CROZER-CHESTER MEDICAL CENTER. CROZER-CHESTER MEDICAL CENTER, APPELLANT. SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER, INC. V. DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL. CROZER-CHESTER MEDICAL CENTER, APPELLANT. SACRED HEART MEDICAL CENTER, INC. V. DELAWARE COUNTY ET AL. DELAWARE COUNTY ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of Sacred Heart Medical Center, Inc. v. Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Delaware County Council, Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council, Inc., and Crozer-Chester Medical Center, No. 87-16650.

COUNSEL

Michael J. Ehling, Assistant County Solicitor, with him, Francis P. Connors, County Solicitor, for appellants, Delaware County, Pa., Delaware County Council, and Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council, Inc.

Donald T. Petrosa, with him, John W. Wellman, for appellant, Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

Garland D. Cherry, Sr., Cherry, Ferrara, Mutzel & Belefonte, for appellee, Sacred Heart Medical Center, Inc.

Richard L. Hughey, with him, James R. Flick, for Amicus Curiae, Boothwyn Fire Company.

Judges Palladino and Smith, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 550]

Crozer-Chester Medical Center (CCMC), Delaware County and Delaware County Council (County) and the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council (EHS Council) (collectively Appellants) appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, which granted Sacred Heart Medical Center's (Sacred Heart) motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin CCMC, the County and the EHS Council from removing Sacred Heart as the primary ambulance service to be dispatched in response to advanced life support (ALS) ambulance calls in Upper Chichester Township, Delaware County.

This case was precipitated by the decision of the Boothwyn Fire Company (located in Upper Chichester) to no longer staff its own ambulance and respond to basic life support (BLS) ambulance calls.*fn1 Boothwyn, however, still desired to operate an ambulance service. In order to accomplish both objectives, Boothwyn decided to purchase a new ambulance and seek a hospital to provide qualified personnel to staff it. Boothwyn asked both CCMC and Sacred Heart to make a proposal to provide ambulance crews. Boothwyn would retain responsibility for maintaining the ambulance. The chosen hospital would equip and staff the ambulance to be able to respond to both BLS and ALS ambulance calls on a 24 hour a day basis. Boothwyn accepted CCMC's proposal*fn2

[ 124 Pa. Commw. Page 551]

    and approved a contract with CCMC on July 1, 1987. Sacred Heart, which had for a year stationed an ambulance of its own at the Boothwyn firehouse and provided ALS ambulance service to Upper Chichester Township, immediately withdrew their ambulance and stationed it at the Ogden Fire Company.*fn3

On July 2, 1987, Boothwyn sought endorsement for the contract from the Upper Chichester Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners, at their July 9, 1987 meeting, unanimously voted to recognize Boothwyn as the ALS-BLS ambulance service for Upper Chichester.*fn4 Thereafter Boothwyn sought ...


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