History of Susquehanna Township EMS

1954 – Susquehanna Township Emergency Medical Services, Inc. got its start on November 8th  as the Progress Community Ambulance Association, a non-profit Ambulance association located at 3918 Jonestown Road and staffed by an all volunteer crew.

1957 – Beginning as a volunteer ambulance service Progress Ambulance enjoyed wide spread 
community support. Through community support STEMS was able to purchase a new ambulance in 1957. Pictured here, is was President William Pickell, and Vice President Richard Smith, receiving the keys to our brand new 1957 Chevrolet ambulance.

1960/70’s – The Progress Fire Company played a large role in STEMS early development. With their gracious support, STAT32, was stationed inside of Progress Fire Station located at 3440 Maple street. The members of Progress Fire alongside STEMS volunteers ran EMS calls together throughout this period.


1978 – As the community expanded, the demand for Emergency Medical Services in Susquehanna Township grew with it. In order to meet the needs of the community STEMS began the process of planning its expansion. On January 11th, the Progress Community Ambulance Association changed its official title to the Susquehanna Township Ambulance Association. During this period, STEMS and the Progress Fire Company entered into an agreement of sale to purchase land across from their station located on Maple street where STEMS could build it’s new home.

On November 3rd 1978, STEMS purchased the parcel, today known as 108 Short street, from the Progress Fire Company for $28,000 ($105,000 in 2017 dollars). Through the help and support of Susquehanna Township, The Department of Community Affairs as well as the community STEMS was able to demolition the existing three story building in order to build the two story ambulance station.

1980 – On June 4th, STEMS was able to move into its brand new station, known as the “Main Station” located at 108 Short Street Harrisburg. Costing approximately $175,000 dollars, STEMS finally had its own permanent home, where it continues to serve the community today. 

On may 19th 1980, the Dauphin County Commissioners unanimously approved an EMS deployment plan that would bring enhanced Advanced Life Support services to the citizens of Dauphin County. Susquehanna Township Ambulance Association being a member of the Dauphin County District 5 BLS/ALS, would see units from PolyClinic Medic 5 stationed alongside STEMS Company 9 units in order to provide Advanced Life Support Services to the citizens of Susquehanna Township.

1981 – On April 2nd, Susquehanna Township Ambulance Association entered into an agreement with the Polyclinic Medical Center to ‘dual dispatch’ a MICU alongside a Company 9 ambulance for the following call types: “Accident involving Motor Vehicles, Severe Bleeding, Difficulty Breathing, Chest pain, Electrocution, Insect bite with allergic reaction, Severe Trauma, Unconscious Person, Mass Transit Accident”. The Polyclinic “Medic 5” Unit was the primary Paramedic unit covering Susquehanna Township, Dauphin Borough, Middle Paxton Township, Rush Township and Penbrook Borough.

1983 – On March 14th Susquehanna Township Ambulance Association changed its name a final time, incorporating itself as Susquehanna Township Emergency Medical Services, Inc while maintaining its 501c3 status.

1990’s – After the dissolving of many of the community based Ambulance services, including Polyclinic Medic 5, STEMS entered into an agreement with Community LifeTeam EMS (previously River Rescue) out of Harrisburg Hospital, to provide Advanced Life Support to the citizens of Susquehanna Township, Penbrook and Paxtang Borough.


2000’s – STEMS continued to grow and expand, purchasing new ambulances and moving from an all volunteer EMS agency to a professional and career based agency.

2011 – In order to provide the best possible Emergency Medical Services to our community, STEMS made the difficult transition into an Advanced Life Support agency. Hiring six full time Paramedics, and several part time Paramedics, under the leadership of ALS Chief Michael Houser, STEMS went live on April 4th 2011.


2017 – STEMS underwent another change in an effort to enhance ALS availability in our primary coverage zones. In early 2017, STEMS purchased a squad unit for our main station Paramedic. Outfitted and staffed to provide high quality ALS services to our community, Medic 9-20 is in service today serving and protecting.