By Stan Welch
Preparations continue for the replacement of a Quick Response Vehicle (QRV) currently serving the Three & Twenty Fire Station with an ambulance. The change is slated to be accomplished by March 1.
The Pelzer EMS, which already serves adjacent areas in the northern end of the county, offered to provide the more complete service possible with an ambulance, and the County Council quickly accepted the offer. A QRV, while essentially equipped the same as an ambulance, is manned by only one paramedic and is unsuited for patient transport.
Last year, the county activated QRVs at the Zion and Ebenezer fire stations as a stopgap measure. Manned by a single paramedic, the role of the QRV is limited to quick response in lieu of an ambulance. The QRV at Zion is still in place there, but its continued presence will be re-evaluated during the remainder of the current budget cycle, as will the ambulance at Three and Twenty.
Since they are unable to transport patients, the QRVs generate no revenue, and do not contribute to their own upkeep. “The Pelzer Squad will be compensated for patient transport based on their own squad’s billing, which makes it possible for them to offer this service,” said EMS Director Steve Kelly.
Kelly, who stressed that the training of the personnel on either vehicle is identical, said that the Three & Twenty QRV will be shut down for the remaining budget cycle, and the need for both QRVs will be re-evaluated. “The ambulance at Three & Twenty will also be reevaluated, but my sense is that the Council will see the need for it. Under the current agreement, the ambulance is manned for twelve hours a day. It’s entirely possible that Council will decide that twenty four hour coverage is needed in that area.”
“The Highway 88 corridor from Pendleton to Powdersville has absolutely exploded in the last few years. Powdersville has become a little Greenville county in itself. Growth is tremendous, and with that comes a lot of challenges. As an area where drug use is also expanding, medical services face more demands. There are still areas in the county that need improved access to emergency medical services. We will be evaluating where the QRVs can be most helpful, or whether to just take them off the road.”
By Stan Welch