Highland County Emergency Medical Response – Part 2

In Part Two of this story regarding the improvements in cooperation and efficiency of emergency medical response in Highland County, my conversation continues with two members of the EMS Advisory Committee, Paul Trible, President of the Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Carl Williams, Chief of Highland EMS.

Mr. Trible:

“Well, I’s kind of like to thank the Supervisors for having enough faith in us to kind of let us handle this going forward. I think they were put under a lot of pressure several years ago, because calls were getting dropped and response wasn’t happening. And they started down this path to paid unit within the county, and in all fairness to them, they’ve taken a lot of heat – some of it justified some of it unjustified.”

“But ultimately, as I told David Blanchard several times now, we’ve had this conversation, we had the discussions – sometimes they were a little unpleasant, but now we’ve reached a point where we’ve got a unit that’s working pretty well together and getting real good response. So I’d like to thank them for allowing us to make it work, instead of forcing a solution on us that maybe the county perhaps couldn’t afford, or maybe the county residents didn’t want. So kudos to them for giving us the chance to work it out.”

Mr. Williams:

“Yeah, I’ll echo what Paul said. You know, we’re trying to work together – EMS as a whole is not a straightforward thing. It’s an ongoing process, something that we have to look at every so often to make sure what we’re doing is working and what we can do better in the future. That’s just how EMS is across the country. Highland County is no different. We have to look at what we’re offering and what we could do better.”

“And I think that’s what this EMS advisory board is trying to work towards, and with the three different agencies, to make things better, to make sure people’s calls are being answered in a timely fashion.”

“It’s a combined effort. This isn’t just volunteers. This isn’t just the paid staff. This is volunteers and career staff working together to make this happen.”

New first responders are welcome whether they be volunteer or paid staff.

“We will take any volunteers we can get. We can use people that just drive, we can use medics, we can use EMTs.”

“We just were reviewing a document that was put out by the state regarding the Maple Festival and the numbers of people and volunteers and units that the state would like us to have during our big Maple Festival event was pretty eye-opening – of course, we don’t have those, and we probably never will.”

“But we can certainly use anybody that wants to drive for us or if you’re a paramedic and you’d like to use that certification, we would love to have you. You hit contact Kristy Moyers, her phone numbers in the phonebook, and we’ll get you a membership application in.”

“One way or another, we want us to have a truck with volunteer or career,  it doesn’t matter. We’re always taking volunteers. If it’s something that you’re interested in a career, that’s a good step to start with, is start as a volunteer, and if you want to make it a career, we currently have one full time position that’s open that we would like to fill.  And if there’s people out there, especially current volunteers, that would like to do part-time staff, we’re more than happy to take them on as a part time staff member also.”

“So they can contact me if they’re interested, we’ll go through the interview process with that. So if you’re interested in a part time or full time position with the Highland County EMS, contact me – the number is 540-468-1555 and we can get that process started.”

Stay tuned for the conclusion of this story.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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