KEYSER - The Mineral County Commission approved the purchase of a chase car Tuesday that would assist with emergency medical services during specific hours.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - The Mineral County Commission approved the purchase of a chase car Tuesday that would assist with emergency medical services during specific hours.
With the approval by the commissioners, the Mineral County Ambulance Authority will be the agency that will be purchasing the vehicle.
The subject of the chase car has been an ongoing agenda item for the county agency for months, with discussions involving the coverage area and provider for the services.
The original plan for the chase car would allow for the vehicle to be housed at the Short Gap fire station and be staffed by paramedics for the hours of 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During a late 2017 commission meeting, commissioner Richard Lechliter, suggested that the subject of a chase car be put on hold while correct procedures were investigated.
He did say at that time that he was in favor of a chase car.
Luke McKenzie, county director of emergency services, said the chase car “is a good thing,” while commissioner Roger Leatherman said that in talking to Mineral County residents, “They are in favor” of the new emergency-type vehicle.
McKenzie described the chase car as a 2017 Ford Explorer Police Pursuit, with zero miles and fully equipped with lights and sirens at the cost of $36,979.
He said that radio equipment will need to be installed in the Ford before it is put in to service. McKenzie said the vehicle is scheduled to arrive between May 3-4, and the program should begin in June.
He gave additional details on the chase car, including the fact that it will “roam the county on Monday through Friday for the hours of 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
He added that during the operational hours, the Ford will be staffed by Valley Medical personnel, and housed during the non-operational hours at the Valley Medical base.