Tri-Community South EMS has been awarded accreditation from the Commission for the
Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).
CAAS is an independent, non-profit organization comprised of EMS and health care experts, established to encourage and promote quality patient care in America's medical transportation system. The primary focus of the commission's standards is high-quality patient care. This is accomplished by establishing national standards which not only address the delivery of patient care but also the ambulance service's total operation and its relationships with other agencies, the general public and the medical community. The Commission's standards often exceed state or local licensing requirements. Tri-Community South was the fourth service in Pennsylvania, and one of very few municipally-owned services in the nation, to achieve this accreditation.
In a rigorous year-long process, Tri-Community South demonstrated that its policies and procedures meet the accreditation standard, and passed the on-site inspection. The CAAS board then met to review all the information from the application process. Accreditation was granted in April of 2006. The accreditation was renewed in 2009, 2012 and 2015.
The accreditation granted to Tri-Community South is for three years. This is the longest period for which CAAS grants accreditation, and shows that Tri-Community South met or exceeded the most stringent standards in all operational and administrative areas, in personnel, equipment, policies and procedures, documentation, and community responsibility.
Tri-Community South EMS Director Nora Helfrich said accreditation "represents our firm commitment to our patients and community. We continuously strive to do our best, and we viewed accreditation as another step toward excellence." "Our staff has been key to our successful completion of the process. I think it gives the feeling of prestige and pride to work in an accredited ambulance service." "Everyone played a valuable role in our ability to meet the Commission's high standards. We have achieved accreditation, but I believe it can only be a stimulus for continued improvement." Several states now recognize CAAS accreditation as evidence of qualification for state licensure. Pennsylvania does not do this, so Tri-Community South has also completed its triennial state licensure inspection. This inspection is conducted by the regional EMS council to insure that the service complies with all state laws and regulations, and that the personnel and equipment meet all state standards.