Greenbrier County Commission works to improve EMS service in Meadow River Valley

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LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — The Greenbrier County Commission continues to work to improve ambulance service in the Meadow River Valley area. The efforts were put in place after the Commission heard the concerns from community members about ambulance coverage in the western part of the county.

According to a release from the Commission, Quinwood Emergency Ambulance, Inc. was attempting to cover the entire western region of Greenbrier County while only using a single ambulance. The Commission claimed it was made aware of the number of calls regarding unsatisfactory response times due to the ambulance company only having one functioning vehicle. The Commission then opened an inquiry into the ambulance service in the Meadow River Valley to determine if public safety needs were being met. The Commission stated their inquiry confirmed Quinwood Emergency Emergency Ambulance, Inc. was attempting to serve the entire western region of Greenrbier County with only one ambulance.

While the review was being done, Quinwood Emergency Ambulance was able to temporarily borrow a second ambulance. The Commission’s inquiry also revealed the Quinwood ambulance service routinely operated only one ambulance while trying to serve the entire region.

Because of the lengthy response times and delays, the Commission said ambulance services in other areas were placed on standby to handle calls in the Meadow River Valley; however, according to the Commission, there were a number of times this did not happen because of an oversight by Quinwood Emergency Ambulance. The Commission claimed this oversight caused unsatisfactory response times to several medical emergencies.

Tammy Tincher, a commissioner that represents the Meadow River Valley, said after reviewing the issue, they determined the Commission needed to step in.

“Obviously, we can not discuss all of our findings in this inquiry related to our evaluation of ambulance services in the Meadow River Valley area of Greenbrier County because the issues that were reviewed and evaluated involved were personnel matters, as well as issues related to healthcare policy, but enough discrepancies and problems were discovered in this inquiry that made the actions taken by the Greenbrier County Commission unavoidable. Essentially, what we found was the complaints that we were receiving from citizens were sustained, so we had to act. We could not simply continue to overlook the problems or delay a solution to the unsatisfactory ambulance services in the Meadow River Valley,” Tincher explained.

The Greenbrier County Commission said the following steps were taken:

  • Allowing a second Emergency medical provider (White Sulphur Springs EMS) to operate in the Meadow River Valley region of Greenbrier County
  • Dividing the large Meadow River Valley area into two separate EMS zones, similar to the zones that are established by the Greenbrier County Commission for the various fire departments that serve the area.

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