By Ammie Ruddle
When the Pendleton County Commission met on June 7, one of the key topics was the time it takes for an ambulance to arrive on site to an emergency situation. Rick Gillespie, the emergency service coordinator for Pendleton County, said, “out of 836 calls, the average time it takes from the time the call is made to the time the ambulance arrives is 46.5 minutes.”
Pendleton County has four rescue squads. All are non-paid volunteers.
“The further out a person lives from town, the longer it can take for emergency services to arrive,” said Gillespie.
County Commissioner Gene McConnell asked, “What can be done to reduce the time?” No proposal was made during the meeting but is something the County Commission and emergency services coordinator will be addressing the situation.
Bryan Ward, West Virginia House of Delegates, addressed the issue by saying, “I know the arrival times for the calls are intolerable statewide and most of the rural areas. The joint committee on volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services will be meeting and hearing testimony tomorrow [June 14]. We are going to try to figure out the prevailing answer with the current crisis.”
Another topic that raised questions was the changing of street names. McConnell again asked the question, “How did that road get renamed Johnson Hollow Road? We can’t just have people arbitrarily changing road signs, whether it is the state road or the DOH (Division of Highways), or whoever. Emergency services rely on these addresses to find people.”
What has been known as “Johnson Hollow” or “Firetower Road” will now be called “Smith Creek Road.” The county commission approved the change and will send a formal letter to the DOH to tell them of the official road name change.
“Due to the frequent outages, the 911 center will be changing their internet provider from Frontier to Shentel,” according to Gillespie.
In March, Pendleton County and Frontier West Virginia, which provides 911 service in
West Virginia, reached a settlement in a dispute regarding several issues, including reliable 911 service. Among other provisions of the settlement, Frontier had agreed to evaluate and improve its 911 service “where technically feasible and cost effective,” according to a Public Service Commission summary of the agreement.
Lois Carr, from Potomac Valley Conservation, stated “the Brandywine Project is good to begin anytime between now and Aug. 1. We just want to get it completed before the flooding season.” The Brandywine project consists of cleaning and clearing out the river bank behind multiple residences in Brandywine.
The Pendleton Community Building will be receiving two new cameras for security purposes.
The commissioners approved a grant request by the board of education. It is the School Violence Prevention Grant.
Bradley Kimble, a former correction officer, was hired as the new bailiff for Pendleton County courts.