GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The western end of Greenbrier County, which includes the area from Dawson to Quinwood has been serviced by Quinwood Ambulance.
However, on Tuesday, the Greenbrier County Commission voted to allow White Sulphur Springs Emergency Medical Services to also serve that end of the county.
Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Mike Honaker says this does not mean that Quinwood will stop serving them.
What it means is that both services will cover the same area.
“Quinwood does a good job. Great people. It just seems like the problem is having enough equipment, having enough ambulances and often Quinwood’s found themselves dealing with just one ambulance because of maintenance or equipment issues,” he said.
White Sulphur Springs Emergency Services has stations set up in both White Sulphur and Maxwelton and plan to put a full-time ambulance as well as staff in the western end.
Quinwood was down to one ambulance and just added another this past week, but Commissioner Tammy Tincher says it is also about Quinwood’s large multi-county coverage area.
“We also want to make note that Quinwood Ambulance Service covers other counties; Nicholas and Fayette County as well, so when you only have a limited number of ambulances available and you’re covering counties, that limits the amount of service that we can provide,” Tincher said. “So for the commission, it’s simply making sure that there is adequate coverage, timely response and making sure that everyone is safe and the needs are provided for.”
According to Tincher, White Sulphur Springs was chosen because they have the most vehicles and staff members.
County officials hope this will bring the response time down to the target 10 to 15 minutes as the closest crew will respond, which is crucial especially in such a rural area.
“The answer to a better response time is not for police, fire and rescue to just drive faster. If anything, that undermines public safety,” Honaker said. “But if we can put more equipment and more staff strategically located in the county, then we’re going to have a better response time.”
Logistics still have to be worked out, but the plan is to have an ambulance and crew out to the western end of the county as soon as possible.