The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 18, 2009

UPDATE: Ambulance co-owners move on from theft

FARRELL — Co-owners of a Farrell ambulance company told its former president on Friday that they were moving on and trying to pick up the pieces from his nearly $116,000 embezzlement.

“Roy Allen Dulaney, we are not here to forgive,” said Shenango Valley Area Ambulance Service Inc. co-owner and vice president Walter M. Bedich. Nor were they there to chastise, Bedich said. They are moving on.

Dulaney, 51, of French Creek, W. Va., formerly of Sharon, was ordered to pay $70,000 of restitution, though he pleaded guilty to taking the full $115,599.

He had attributed the losses to a gambling problem, Southwest Mercer County Regional police said. Dulaney was in charge of the company’s finances, said a prosecutor.

“I truly am sorry for what I did,” Dulaney said in court. “The bottom line is, for 30 years, my life was about two things. One was being an educator. The other was being a paramedic. Having pleaded guilty to these charges, I can never be either one again.”

Bedich and current Shenango Ambulance president Craig L. Fenton, who were both owners alongside Dulaney, talked about the damage he had done to the company and the community.

According to Bedich, Dulaney stole more than money: “You stole the faith of the community we serve.”

Shenango Ambulance once sported four ambulances, which dropped to two because of a money crunch brought on by Dulaney. “It did hurt the Shenango Valley and surrounding areas,” Fenton said.

Now, the company usually has two to three ambulances out at once, he said. It may be another four to five years before they can fully mend the damage Dulaney did. In the meantime, it could mean slower response times in the valley.

Ambulance drivers were also hurt. There were payroll checks that bounced, and good employees left the company or even the industry, Fenton said.

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