Squad presents immediate needs

Published 5:43 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) made a brief presentation to the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors during the board’s regular February meeting, highlighting the squad’s two fundamental immediate needs.

“I’m here this evening on behalf of the organization to bring to you our immediate needs for the agency to be able to continue to serve the residents of Prince Edward County,” PEVRS Treasurer Carol Broadwater said Feb. 12. “At the presentation that we gave the other month, you were made aware that we cannot continue to operate the way the squad was set up 50 years ago.”

The presentation she was referring to occurred at a Dec. 12 joint meeting called by Farmville Mayor David Whitus at Town Hall to address the significant needs of the rescue squad. The meeting included representatives of Longwood University, Hampden-Sydney College, the town council and the board of supervisors.

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It was agreed at that meeting that representatives from each of the four institutions would send a representative to the squad’s January meeting of its executive committee. Whitus said these four representatives would help give PEVRS ideas of what it can do, and “then we’ll see where we go from there.”

Broadwater made a refined and condensed presentation Feb. 12 compared to the one offered at the December joint meeting, handing out two forms to supervisors with information on them.

“The first one is for the purchase of a new ambulance,” she said. “We need to order one as soon as possible since it currently takes nine months or more to have it built and be ready to put in service. We will need to order one a year from now on to keep them from getting to be eight years old and rechassied as we have in our current fleet.”

“We really need to know something by March 15 if funding is approved for an ambulance so we can go ahead and put in our order, because right now we’ve been kind of waiting,” she continued.

Broadwater indicated she is maintaining a demanding schedule that requires her involvement in the business operations of two different organizations.

“I’m currently running our own personal business downtown in addition to daily working in the office of the rescue squad a few hours each day, which brings us to our other immediate need at the squad: We need an executive director who can run the day-to-day operation on the business side of the organization,” she said.

“We also need funding information, if that’s available, so we can advertise for this position,” she continued. “We have been working with members from Longwood and Hampden-Sydney, the Town of Farmville, and (Prospect District Supervisor) Dave Emert has been attending our meetings to see where we’re at.”

In summary, Broadwater said, “To protect the citizens of this town and county is our ultimate goal, and to look into the future, we know that there has to be some changes that we alone cannot do with our current funding resources. Based on the two proposals that I have given out, it looks like about $300,000 is needed in additional funding.”

When she asked if anyone had any questions Farmville 701 District Supervisor and Board Chairman Jim Wilck said, “I had heard somewhere along the way that the way the state spec’d out or required the ambulances, they were about $352,000. Is that an incorrect figure?”

Broadwater referred that question to Lt. Chris McKay, who is the squad’s vehicle officer.

“There are certain stipulations now that the state requires, such as three-point harnesses in the back, certain head room that has to be in the back to make it safe for a rollover,” McKay said. “The figures that you see are accurate figures.”

Broadwater indicated that the $350,000 amount is for a completely stocked ambulance, and the squad would not need one completely stocked since it could transfer equipment, like defibrillators, over to a new ambulance from the old ambulance that it retires.

“So, you get everything you want with this?” Wilck said, referring to the amount indicated in the form.

“With this,” Broadwater said in confirmation. “The defibrillators and all of that we can move to the new ambulance.”