Rescue squads develop closer coordination

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A policy has been clarified as to when Kenbridge and Victoria rescue squads will respond to calls outside of Lunenburg.

“In the past there was a lot of, ‘Do we go, do we not go?’” Rodney Newton said as he explained the change to the Kenbridge town council during its December meeting.

Newton works with the rescue squads in Kenbridge and Victoria.

The squads will respond to calls such as chest pains and difficulty breathing. “‘My tooth’s been hurting for two weeks,’ we can’t go to those,” he said.

The policy notes that if one squad goes out of the county, the other must be available — but that can be overridden if the call is considered a matter of life or death, Newton said.

Newton noted that Nottoway County struggles to keep up with its own increasing load, so they don’t come to Lunenburg much.

Part of the reason the policy change was possible is because the squads are getting quicker at handing off calls to other agencies when it is appropriate.

Council members asked if the squad might start running transports to Richmond hospitals as a way to generate money.

Newton said that will be considered, but such transports can tie up a truck for four hours.

Meanwhile, trying to help them work together better, Newton said he has started posting the schedules of both Kenbridge’s and Victoria’s operations with the other’s squad.

“(We’re) trying to make things work a little bit smoother and get care to the people who need it,” he said.