About Us

EMS Home Services & More

Welcome to Penn Highlands Clearfield EMS, a leading provider of emergency medical services in the Clearfield region. PH Clearfield EMS has provided top-quality care to residents and visitors for nearly a century. Our services include:

  • Routine Transport
  • Non-Emergency Transport
  • Emergency Transport
  • Critical Care Transport (coming soon)

Penn Highlands Clearfield EMS is committed to staying at the forefront of pre-hospital care, offering advanced services such as paramedic care, cardiac monitoring, and life-saving medications. We take pride in our highly qualified staff, who all exceed the state's minimum certification requirements and undergo regular training.

As a charitable non-profit organization, Clearfield EMS relies on fees for services, membership drives, and generous donations to fund its operations. We are determined to adapt and provide outstanding care as an integral part of Penn Highlands Healthcare. Join us as we embrace the future and continue our legacy of excellence in emergency medical services.

Our History

On June 16, 1932, Clearfield Fire Company Number One Ambulance service was implemented. The first call was for an elderly woman with a fractured hip in Bailey Settlement. At that time, Clearfield Hospital, then Memorial Hospital, operated an ambulance to serve the community. It had broken down and was out of service when the call came in for Bailey Settlement. Since then, Clearfield Fire Company Number One has provided emergency medical services for the Clearfield region.

Clearfield Fire Company Number One member J. Bruce Smith proposed the Clearfield Fire Company Number One Ambulance Service in 1931. He developed his idea after seeing an ambulance in action in nearby Lewistown. Mr. Smith presented his ideas to the general membership of the fire company to provide this service to the community. Always eager to help the community, Clearfield Fire Company Number One adopted the idea and developed plans for the project. The country was amid the Great Depression, and the Fire Company was as strapped for money as everyone else at that time. Treasurer Orville Shugarts reported at this same meeting that the Fire Company had $3.64 to its name. Realizing the opportunity to serve the Clearfield community and determined to establish an ambulance service, the Fire Company raised $1,200.00 for the project. This was a great accomplishment during this era. The Clearfield Trust Company loaned the Fire Company the remaining $1,295.00 needed to buy the first Nash-Miller ambulance from Clearfield Auto Supply Company.

From this point forward, the service grew at an unbelievable speed. In 1942 the service handled 221 calls covering 1,757 miles. By 1950 the call volume had more than doubled to 507 calls and 4,729 miles. 1970 brought about what many members had thought to be the maximum number of calls they would see: 956 calls covering 20,000 miles.

By 1990, the trip volume grew so large that the service operated four ambulances and received more calls than the all-volunteer staff could handle. Paid Emergency Medical Technicians were hired to staff the units. The same year the service was reorganized, and the name was changed to Clearfield EMS. Clearfield Fire Company Number One continues to own, operate, and maintain the service as Clearfield EMS.

In early 1993 Clearfield Fire Company Number One made a major commitment to improving patient care by making Clearfield EMS an Advanced Life Support ambulance service. This advancement was created with the cooperation of Clearfield Hospital to further promote quality patient care. This advancement made Clearfield EMS the provider of advanced life support Paramedic services to most of Clearfield County. Which essentially brings emergency room-type care into the community. Clearfield EMS Paramedics serve as the emergency room physician's eyes, ears, and hands. Since the inception of Paramedic services, we have saved or reduced the suffering of numerous citizens and visitors of the Clearfield Region.

In 2010 Clearfield Fire Company Number One merged with the Clearfield Fire Department. Clearfield EMS Inc. was formed into a community Ambulance Service. Clearfield EMS has people from the community that serve on the board.

The service continues to grow and improve upon patient care capabilities. In 2014, Clearfield EMS was summoned for 3,950 calls and traveled over 100,000 miles. The Board of Directors of Clearfield EMS has long been committed to providing the tools necessary for the most advanced pre-hospital care available today.

We currently have an updated fleet of five advanced life support ambulances. All are equipped with LifePak 15 diagnostic cardiac monitors. These monitors provide the tools to provide the highest level of care available to patients experiencing a problem related to their hearts. The LifePak 15 monitor can record a 12-lead EKG that helps diagnose a heart attack. All five units are also equipped with glucometers which check the amount of sugar in a patient's blood, pulse oximeters that monitor the amount of oxygen in a person's blood, equipment for establishing IVs, emergency life-saving medications to administer to patients who require them, numerous devices for advanced airway control, bandaging, splinting, patient moving devices, and more.

Since 1931 Clearfield Fire Company Number One has been committed to providing quality emergency medical services to the residents and visitors of the Clearfield area. We continue to uphold this commitment by providing a quality not-for-profit emergency medical service organization owned and operated by local citizens.

EMS Act Compliance

Clearfield EMS has been a fully licensed provider of Emergency Medical Services through the Department of Health since the inception of the EMS Act. Clearfield EMS maintains and operates four advanced life support ambulances that serve the Clearfield region.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health licenses Clearfield EMS as an ALS / BLS ambulance service. This licensure demonstrates Clearfield EMS' compliance with the EMS Act, including the requirements for response times. Our average response time for emergency calls in 1999 was 1.72 minutes, which far exceeded the requirement to respond to requests for emergency services within 4 minutes. The average time from dispatch to on-scene in 2014 was 9.99 minutes, again below the rural standard of 20 minutes as outlined in the EMS Act. This dispatch-to-scene average time is even below the 10-minute guideline for urban emergency medical responses.


Clearfield EMS staff two-advanced life support ambulances twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. During peak call times, a third advanced life support ambulance is staffed at the station. Additional units are staffed with on-call, off-duty personnel who respond to the station to answer additional calls. All units are staffed with a Paramedic and an Emergency Medical Technician.

Personnel Qualifications & Training

All our Paramedics are certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Much of our training exceeds the minimum state requirements. In addition to their certification from the Department of Health, all Paramedics are also trained in the following: cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC), and hazardous materials awareness and operations. Paramedics must also complete at least 18 hours of continuing education each year.

All Penn Highlands Clearfield EMS personnel function within the standards established under the Pennsylvania EMS Act. The EMS Act lists the following as the scope of practice for Paramedics:

  1. Perform pulmonary ventilation by the use of oral, nasal, endotracheal, or tracheostomy intubation.
  2. Insert in peripheral veins, intravenous catheters, needles, or other cannula-IV lines.
  3. Obtain venous blood samples for analysis, but only for diagnostic and treatment purposes.
  4. Prepare and administer approved medication and solutions by intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, intraosseous, oral, sublingual, topical, inhalation, rectal, or endotracheal routes.
  5. Perform defibrillation and synchronized cardioversion.
  6. Perform gastric suction by nasogastric or orogastric intubation.
  7. Insert nasogastric or orogastric tubes.
  8. Visualize the airway by use of the laryngoscope to remove foreign bodies with forceps.
  9. Apply electrodes and monitor cardiac electrical activity, including electrocardiograms.
  10. Perform vigil maneuvers.
  11. Use mechanical cardiopulmonary resuscitation devices.
  12. Assess and manage patients in accordance with the EMT-Paramedic training curriculum approved by the Department.
  13. Perform thoracic decompression.
  14. Perform cricothyrotomy and pulmonary ventilation.
  15. Perform central venous and intraosseous cannulation.
  16. Perform external transthoracic pacing.
  17. Perform urinary catheterization.
  18. Access central venous lines and subcutaneous indwelling catheters.
  19. Perform other ALS services authorized by the Department-approved regional EMS council transfer and medical treatment protocols.

Emergency Medical Technicians are also certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In addition to their certification from the Department of Health, all EMTs are trained in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, Emergency Vehicle Operators Course, and hazardous materials awareness and operations.

Emergency Medical Technicians are permitted by the EMS Act to perform basic CPR, use automated external defibrillators, bleeding control, administer oxygen, and perform basic emergency medical treatment of bleeding, shock, burns, heat and cold emergencies, poising, fractures, and childbirth.

Penn Highlands Clearfield EMS is also an accredited continuing education sponsor through the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This allows us to provide continuing education to our personnel, as well as other EMS providers, that is approved and endorsed by the Department of Health. We have several instructors on staff that allow us to continually provide education to our team and other EMS providers, industrial organizations, and the public.

Medical Direction & Continuous Quality Improvement

All Paramedics are required to work under the direction of an ALS Service Medical Director. The ALS Service Medical Director is a physician who monitors the quality of services provided and is solely responsible for the care given in the field. Clearfield EMS works closely with local physicians and our ALS Service Medical Director to ensure we provide the latest and best possible pre-hospital care.

Continuous quality improvement is an essential element of Clearfield EMS' ability to provide the high level of care we provide. Clearfield EMS exceeds the minimum state-mandated requirements for quality assurance and continuous improvement. Clearfield EMS has a comprehensive and aggressive program to ensure every patient receives the care they deserve.

A Continuous Quality Improvement group reviews every patient care record to ensure that the care given was appropriate, that the response met the EMS Acts requirements, and that local protocols and standing orders were followed. These patient care records are then sent to the ALS Service Medical Director, who again reviews them for compliance with all applicable laws, protocols, and standing orders. These cases are then used to identify trends and implement continuing education to ensure that the highest level of patient care is provided to Clearfield EMS patients. The CQI process is successful due to its focus on education and improved patient care.

Clearfield EMS also challenges its employees to better themselves. All employees are encouraged to take part in continuing education and professional development courses. Clearfield EMS's policy is to enable its staff access to these programs by scheduling shifts around the classes, providing financial aid for qualifying programs, and allowing employees to study while on duty.

Community Involvement

Clearfield EMS has always been committed to being involved in the Clearfield Community. We support, actively participate, and provide EMS coverage at the following community functions: Clearfield County Fair, Relay for Life, March of Dimes Walk America, Armed Forces Awareness Days, High Country Arts Festival, Clearfield Borough Police Awareness Day, Clearfield Fire Department Fire Awareness Day, and many activities at local schools and senior organizations. Clearfield EMS has also supplied free first aid training to the Clearfield Area School District coaches.

EMS Home Services Funding

Clearfield EMS is a charitable, non-profit, non-taxed, supported Emergency Medical Services provider. All funding for the operation of the service comes from fees for services and our annual membership drive. We also receive generous donations from area residents and businesses on occasion.

Challenges for the Future

The future holds many challenges for Clearfield EMS. The insurance industry's transformation to managed care, combined with cuts in federal program reimbursements, challenges us to become more innovative and proactive in obtaining reimbursements and exploring non-traditional avenues for funding. We participate in numerous study programs exploring alternate funding sources and non-traditional services to provide during crew downtimes.

We look forward to the evolution of Emergency Medical Services into an integrated part of the health care system. We will continue to meet the challenges of the future and position ourselves at the forefront of this ever-changing industry.