09/02/04 — Faison ready for 24-hour emergency medical coverage

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Faison ready for 24-hour emergency medical coverage

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on September 2, 2004 1:58 PM

FAISON -- The Faison Fire and Rescue department is ready to contract with the county for 24-hour emergency medical coverage, the second department in the county to go to paid personnel.

The volunteer fire department board met Monday night and gave some questions for the county to the chief, Glen Jernigan, who was to meet Wednesday morning with Emergency Services Director Curtis Brock.

Work has begun on preparing the new EMS station. Jernigan and Assistant Chief Pat Rouse were working on the bunk rooms Tuesday morning with Mike Lewis, the other paid EMT.

The bunk rooms are upstairs in the two-story station. A slide pole in the back of the room provides access to the trucks below.

"If we're up here, we use it all the time," said Jernigan as Ms. Rouse slid down. "I'd show you how to go down it, but I have on shorts. I go down it easier than I do down the steps."

Jernigan said the construction would cost about $2,000.

"I see it as a partnership between the volunteers and the county," he said of the new EMS squad. "The paid people can't cover the whole county by themselves. It will take some volunteer backup."

One room will house the men, and the other room will house the women EMTs. Both will open into a day room and lounge that will share the training and fitness equipment until they are moved next door.

"We had to quit working on that building to do this," said Jernigan. The building next door opens onto Front Street.

Jernigan said the sleeping quarters would be finished by Wednesday, except for a coat of paint, "and we can work around that. We've had fun working in a building that's not square."

The volunteers have two ambulances. The county has one. Jernigan said the department has used all three at once when a bad wreck has occurred.

Faison's squad of emergency medical technicians consists of three full-time paid county workers and 25 volunteers. He said he sees the contract with the county as a way to increase coverage rather than decrease it. He said the response time will be quicker than it is now.