Arvonia VFD expansion will improve response times, add EMS

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Arvonia Volunteer Fire Department just finished remodeling its facility this year. The plan for this remodel was to add additional space for a rescue squad in the future. During the Tuesday, Oct. 10 meeting of the Buckingham Board of Supervisors, the board and the Arvonia VFD staff agreed that now is the time to put it to use. 

The Arvonia and New Canton area is underserved when it comes to emergency and medical response and resources. The conversation started in 2021 regarding the update and expansion. Once it was completed this year, the next conversation was to use the extra space in the station to fill the service gap in the county. 

At the Arvonia Volunteer Fire Department’s September business meeting, members agreed to invite Buckingham County’s Department of Emergency Services (BCDES) to place Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources within the Arvonia Volunteer Fire Department’s facility.

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“The Arvonia and New Canton areas of the County, which this partnership would directly service, are two of our busiest areas, in terms of call volume,” said Buckingham County Department of Emergency Service’s Chief Cody Davis. “On top of that, those areas currently have some of our worst response times.”

Now, Arvonia and the County are preparing to put this partnership into action. The partnership will pace BCDES’s 12-hour unit at the Arvonia Volunteer Fire Department. This means that the location will have an ambulance there all the time, staffing it from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Davis acknowledges that surge staffing will possibly be needed on nights and weekends.

Arvonia VFD response will improve

According to County Administrator Karl Carter, when an emergency happens resources are pulled from Dilwyn or Glenmore to respond to the Arvonia and New Canton area. Now that emergency services will already be in Arvonia, wait times will be cut drastically as there will be much less travel time. 

“It’s really a win-win situation,” said Carter. “We don’t have to build another facility in the area which saves taxpayers money and using the facility cuts down on wait times which can save lives.” 

This partnership hasn’t officially started yet as there are some technical aspects that still need to be ironed out. According to Carter, they have to integrate into the 911 system and draft out some agreements before officially starting. It’s expected to be ready by the end of the year.