KEYSER - Following one of the several public appointments during the Tueday morning session of the Mineral County Commission, the meeting of the county ambulance authority was cancelled, and the implementation of having a chase car in the northern end of the county was temporarily put on hold.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Following one of the several public appointments during the Tueday morning session of the Mineral County Commission, the meeting of the county ambulance authority was cancelled, and the implementation of having a chase car in the northern end of the county was temporarily put on hold.
Colby Simpson, who heads up the Chase Car Committee, was present at the meeting, and heard as president Richard Lechliter say on behalf of the commission, “We are all very much in favor of the chase car,” adding that the procedure to get the car on the road must be done correctly.
Simpson explained that months ago a bid process began, and Valley Medical Transport was the only bid received, and several members of the transport business are also members of the Mineral County Ambulance Authority.
He said that the situation is not to decide on who will provide the service, the vote is “whether we want a chase car.”
Simpson has contacted the West Virginia Ethics Commission to provide a finding having the employees present at the ambulance authority meetings to “speak their minds” prior to the vote for having a chase car.
He also said that he heard of comments concerning the chase car and those promoting it will “kill volunteerism,” however he cited, “What about the death of the patient?”
If the finding from the state’s ethics commission is received before the next ambulance authority meeting, scheduled for Dec. 7, Simpson is hopeful the vote for the chase car will happen.
The plan for the case car involves having the vehicle housed at the Short Gap fire station and be in service on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the coverage area being from Fountain to Ridgely and Patterson Creek.
In other business, Lechliter said that several letters had been received over the past several months, with suggested appointments to the county’s ambulance authority and the firefighter’s association as proxies or alternates.
He said that the appointments for the two agencies are under the direction of the county commission, and letters of recommendation only may be received from the ambulance and fire services.
Lechliter mentioned that the commission does not “do proxies or alternates,” but appoints members only.