Behind the Scenes of Crozer-Keystone Emergency Medical Services - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on May 22, 2015

Behind the Scenes of Crozer-Keystone Emergency Medical Services

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Aubrey Proud
(610) 447-6171


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics deserve the respect, praise and admiration that they earn each and every day. However, a description of a paramedic’s average day can be somewhat of a mystery. For example, did you know that Crozer-Keystone EMS is actively involved in community events supporting senior citizens in need of paramedicine? And that paramedics routinely handle social services situations in towns such as Upper Darby, where over 72 languages are spoken by its diverse population? All of this occurs while the talented EMS team manages the more traditional emergency calls of cardiac arrests, diabetic emergencies, car accidents and gunshot wounds.

At Delaware County Memorial Hospital (DCMH), Allen Burk, paramedic supervisor for EMS North, is a great example of professionalism and dedication. Crozer-Keystone’s EMS North Division handles emergency calls in Upper Darby, Drexel Hill, Springfield, Swarthmore, Rutledge, East Lansdowne, Millbourne and Morton. Burk has worked in emergency medical services for over 30 years and has been part of the DCMH team for over 23 years. A resident of Ridley Township, he also volunteers as deputy fire chief for a fire department in Delaware County and serves on the Urban, Search & Rescue team for PEMA, PA Company #2.

On an average day, Burk, who oversees a team of approximately 35 paramedics, assists on calls (more than 14,000 annually), keeps ambulances maintained and ready to respond, manages the 24/7 employee schedule, and is responsible for all of the HAZMAT training for his team and DCMH’s nursing staff. In typical EMS fashion, Burk is calm and humble, and quick to extend appreciation for his colleagues that all believe in the team approach. He is also matter-of-fact when asked to detail what he sees on emergency calls. “We run into situations when your time is running out,” he says.

A paramedic is in a unique position to witness the best and worst situations that occur in people’s lives and, as a result, they form an impenetrable bond with their colleagues. They make the most of conversations with a unique sense of humor, have a BBQ when possible, and try to decompress during odd times of the day.

To learn more about Crozer-Keystone EMS and the full team of quality individuals that serve the Delaware County community, visit

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