At about 3:45 p.m. on June 30, as I sit listening to my scanner, I hear that Valley Squad 238 was sent to do a “move up” to the city.
What this means is that all the other squads that Mason County EMS has are busy and that the ONLY squad in the Apple Grove area has to move to Point Pleasant. This is common due to the large amount of non-emergency transports that Mason County EMS does in a given day. Many times the ONLY squad that is in the Apple Grove area has is sent to do a transport.
I do not feel that this is helpful to the citizens of Apple Grove. Ask yourself if someone in your family is injured or has a need for EMS and the closest EMS is 10 minutes away, however, since they are on a transport, the next closest EMS is 30-40 minutes away, would this be acceptable to you?
On this day in particular, while Squad 238 was rerouted to the move up at approximately 4 p.m., 911 got a call for a possible stroke on Ashton Upland Road. The squad finally got on scene 12 minutes later, which could have been only a 3-4 minute wait had they not been sent to move up. Then the squad was notified that there were no other squads for ALS support. Meaning that if this was in fact a stroke an ALS crew would be needed and there were none available.
Where were all the other squads in the county? Where they busy taking someone that wasn’t an emergency to their home or to another facility? There are many other businesses out there that do this that do not also provide emergency support. Why is our EMS taking transport over emergency support?
I have contacted the West Virginia State EMS department and was told this is not illegal (although the gentlemen that I spoke with didn’t agree with it). I am but a concerned citizen. I cannot change this, but together we need to let Mason County EMS know that we do not agree with what they are doing: Endangering the lives of our loved ones.