First responder status approved

Published 8:13 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Farmville Fire Department recently received approval from the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors to provide basic life support services, without transport, within the corporate limits of the Town of Farmville, Prince Edward County. The approval came following a 7-0 vote at the board’s Nov. 8 meeting.

Wade Bartlett

In the initial meeting agenda, Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett had a much different recommendation for the board than the one that he ended up giving after receiving a revised resolution on the matter.

His initial recommendation, after outlining some key questions, read as follows: “This is a serious request that has long-term implications to the provision of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to all of Prince Edward County. As stated above there are many questions that need to be answered before approving this request. I recommend the board table the request and direct county staff to develop a list of questions and bring those questions back to the board at the December meeting. The board can then amend the questions by either adding or deleting questions. Then the questions will be sent to the appropriate agencies for answers. Once the answers are received, the board will review and decide how best to proceed. This could include approving, amending or denying the request or meeting with all the relevant players and possibly developing an alternate solution.”

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But at the meeting, Bartlett said, “There was a revised resolution that was provided, and in that revised resolution, it answered the major question. Because of that, I don’t see any issue, and the board, if you so desire, could authorize and pass that resolution.”

The major question surrounded the issue of transportation. The original resolution was not specific with regard to this issue. It concluded by stating, “Now, therefore, be it resolved, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors grants approval to the Farmville Volunteer Fire Department to provide these services and obtain the agency license per approval of the Office of Emergency Medical of Virginia.”

The revised resolution replaces the words “these services” with “basic life support services, without transport.”

This means that the Farmville Fire Department will be able to provide basic life support services to an individual or individuals at the scene of an incident, but it does not have clearance to provide these services while transporting them somewhere.

“That was the major question, and when they came back with a revised resolution that made it clear that there was not going to be any transport, that resolved all of that,” Bartlett said Wednesday.

Dean Farmer

The last paragraph of the revised resolution states that the board grants approval to the department “to provide basic life support services, without transport, and to obtain the agency license per approval of the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.”

Before the 7-0 vote at the board meeting, Farmville Fire Department Chief Dean Farmer received a couple of questions from supervisors, including those listed below.

Lockett District Supervisor Robert M. “Bobby” Jones said, “I guess there’ll be some type of coordination between the first responders from the (Prince Edward Rescue Squad) and the first responders from the fire department as far as not having both issued to an incident simultaneously?”

Robert M. “Bobby” Jones

Farmer said, “Yes, sir. To that question, in the event that there is a medical emergency, both agencies would be notified simultaneously to respond.”

Jones added, “Would one know if the other is going?”

Farmer replied, “Yes, sir. The coordination would take place. Of course, we’re on the same radio frequency and have normal radio communication with each other.”

Jones said, “Right, right. And I guess y’all also serve the portion of Cumberland County that’s in the Town of Farmville, too, because y’all are staying in the town limits with this?”

“That’s correct,” Farmer said.

Jerry R. Townsend

Leigh District Supervisor Jerry R. Townsend said, “But Mr. Farmer, there will be some instances where both (agencies) will be there, (where both) could be responding?”

“That’s correct,” Farmer said. “… The intent of the fire department is to respond to major medical incidents and assist and provide medical care until EMS arrives, and at that point care would be taken over by Prince Edward Rescue Squad, and the patient would be transported to the hospital.”

Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr. was not present at the meeting.