Ambulance gets to work in Smoaks | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | February 15, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: February 14, 2018 at 1:39 pm
Ambulance service arrived early in the northwest area of Colleton County.
The original plan was to have Station 7 begin housing an ambulance and crew on Feb. 10.
But, according to Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy, the work on retrofitting the station to provide sleeping quarters to accommodate the round-the-clock ambulance service was finished ahead of schedule, “so we went ahead and moved the crew there Thursday night.”
The ambulance was placed in service at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 8. Battalion Chief Brent Dalton, Firefighter-Paramedic Kevin Varnadoe and Firefighter-EMT Ashley Ackerman became the first ambulance crew to take a shift at Station 7, located at 27250 Lowcountry Highway in Smoaks.
“This is a great addition for the folks living in the northern portion of the county,” McRoy said. “Emergency medical response times will be reduced greatly and this will take some of the call volume off the Bells and Mount Carmel ambulances.”
Ambulance calls for the Smoaks-Johnsville area have been handled by the manned fire station at Bells Crossroads, about 12 miles from Smoaks. The Smoaks-Johnsville area accounts for approximately one-third of the Bells station’s calls for service.
McRoy said, “Colleton County Council and the Fire-Rescue Commission have worked hard to get this unit in place.”
Officials from the county and Smoaks have wanted to have an ambulance placed in that area for over a decade. Financial restraints delayed implementing the plan, but the goal never fell by the wayside.
During last year’s fiscal budget work, county council asked administrators to figure out a way to get the ambulance in Smoaks.
Colleton County Administrator Kevin Griffin, Administrative Services Director Meagan Utsey and County Chief Finance Officer Jon Carpenter worked the budget numbers to make the goal a reality.
McRoy added that Smoaks Mayor Rick Linder, along with John Graham and David Sauls, both volunteer firefighters in the Smoaks area, “were also instrumental in helping out and supporting the project.”