New vehicle for merged stations
Published 9:06 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017
A new ambulance, remodeling of the former Kenbridge Emergency Squad (KES) station and planned upgrades to cardiac monitors used for monitoring EKGs and other vital signs are among the changes taking place as a result of the merge between KES and the Victoria Fire & Rescue.
According to a news release from the Town of Victoria, the new ambulance was purchased June 30 for Station 7 — the new name for the KES location on Kenbridge’s Main Street.
The cost of the ambulance was $204,000 without equipment, the release cited.
Approximately $146,000 of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) unit was paid for by a grant from the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund through the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.
The ambulance was also purchased through funds from the Lunenburg County Emergency Services Capital Equipment Funds and agency funds set aside for equipment replacement, according to the release.
The ambulance was on display for the public during the Aug. 1 National Night Out event held in Victoria’s Railroad Park.
The unit is expected to go into service, running out of Station 7, around Sept. 1, the release cited.
“This unit will serve the community for many years to come,” officials said in the release.
The release noted plans to apply for a grant to upgrade the cardiac monitors used for monitoring EKGs and other vital signs, which would be a $60,000 project.
Station 7 in Kenbridge is being remodeled to accommodate increased staffing as a result of the merge, the release cites, with a paid crew or combination of a paid crew member and a volunteer crew member staff the station from midnight to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
The release cites that the Station 7 location at 915 E. 5th Ave. will continue to be an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) station, housing two EMS units for response to calls for assistance and continue to be a center for community activities.
The release cited the plans that eventually led to the merge between the KES and the Victoria Fire & Rescue took place earlier this year.
The release cited that because of the dwindling volunteer base at the volunteer organizations where many volunteers were unable to run late-night calls, paid staff was hired to cover the hours.
“With the shrinking pool of volunteers and the fact that many of the volunteers were unable to run late-night calls due to employment concerns, it was decided to change the hours of coverage by paid staffing to ensure adequate coverage,” officials cited in the release.
In February, the Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors approved a change to the Lunenburg County Emergency Medical Response Plan that authorized Victoria Fire & Rescue to provide “EMS coverage to the areas of the county that were identified as response areas for Kenbridge Emergency Squad,” according to the release.
A legal process including attorneys from Hawthorne & Hawthorne placed the assets and liabilities of KES under the name of Victoria Fire and Rescue, and the merging process continued in earnest in April.
An April inspection of the two stations and merged EMS organization by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services yielded no citations and Victoria Fire & Rescue was issued permits to operate five EMS units at the advanced life support level, the release cited.
Station 2 in Victoria, on 1421 Main St., is staffed by paid or a combination paid and volunteer crew members from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday with volunteers covering all other times.
For those interested in volunteering at the two locations, applications can be picked up at either station or online at www.victoriafirerescue.com.