KEYSER - During his recent appointment with the Mineral County Commissioners, Luke McKenzie, director of the Mineral County Office of Emergency Management, spoke about issues with EMS response times.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - During his recent appointment with the Mineral County Commissioners, Luke McKenzie, director of the Mineral County Office of Emergency Management, spoke about issues with EMS response times.
He told the commissioners that Dusty Amtower, New Creek Volunteer Fire Department fire chief, sent out a communication dealing with a concern of the Elk District Ambulance Service responding to less than 50 percent of their calls.
Commissioner Richard Lechliter said that he had been in contact with two nearby counties, including Hampshire, and he said that each have, “An emergency department that is failing.”
Chad Lindsey, part of the county’s ambulance authority, said about the Elk District Ambulance Service, “We need to focus on that district with a dual alert.”
He explained the dual alert would not be for the entire county, but for Elk District only.
A dual alert happens when two separate ambulance services are notified at the same time to respond to an emergency situation.
Commission president Jerry Whisner agreed that a dual alert would benefit “the citizens up there” in Elk Garden.
He added that the dual alert response in emergency calls could happen in Elk Garden on a temporary basis, “Until they bring their stats up.”
Whisner said that that information needed to be in black and white, while Lindsey said about the dual alert for the Elk District ambulance, “They need to be notified by a letter.”
McKenzie said that for the Elk District Ambulance Service, the dual alert would go to ambulances in New Creek or Grant County.
Lindsey said he would like to see the Elk District Ambulance Service “go through the Ambulance Authority,” and “We could help them fix their issues.”
Speaking of the Elk District emergency service, he said, “They had problems before and they survived.”
“They have three EMTs, and all of them work during the daytime on Monday through Friday,” and are unable to answer emergency calls during that time.
Lindsey spoke of Elk District ambulance member Dwayne Welch and said that he and one other person “carry the ambulance on their back,” and, “we need to reach out and help them.”