Sharing the cost of services makes perfect sense, yet some municipalities still seem to have an irrational fear of regionalization.

Last year, West York council members didn't even open bids it requested from neighboring police departments, and a majority actually voted to shred the documents sight unseen.

We understand the numbers won't always work in the end for every municipality, but why not find out for sure?

Elected officials owe that to their constituents as emergency services gobble up greater and greater shares of municipal budgets.

It's not sustainable.

Eventually, either taxes will have to be raised or other services cut — neither of which will make property owners very happy.

WellSpan Health decided to force the issue last year on emergency medical services, which Pennsylvania municipalities must make available to residents.

In January, the health care system stopped providing emergency medical services after 33 years.

A WellSpan official said it was losing money on an inefficient model, and its financial support was impeding a transition to a modern, regionalized system.

However, as it ended contracts with four local ambulance companies, WellSpan also promised to help the area's emergency medical community create a better system.

Last week, Keith Noll, senior vice president of WellSpan and president of York Hospital, announced the creation of a large fund to support regionalization of EMS in York County.


WellSpan established a $500,000 fund through the York County Community Foundation and will match additional contributions, up to $250,000, Noll said.

The organization hopes to grow the fund to $1 million.

The grant money will provide financial support to help EMS providers come together and give structure to the system in York County, which now has a very high concentration of providers in central York but not enough in rural areas.

Some regionalization expenses covered under the grants include legal services, equipment replacement, technology and rebranding programs.

Already, Yoe Ambulance Service has changed its name to York Regional EMS and is working with the West York Ambulance.

Other companies are reportedly in discussions about working together.

WellSpan's grants "eliminates significant hurdles" and will help companies pay for the costs of consolidation, said Ted Hake, Yoe Ambulance Service's EMS chief.

"This is an unprecedented opportunity. This is a new era," he said.

The sooner everyone realizes that, the better.