WEYERS CAVE, Va. ---An Augusta County ambulance will start running its service from the Weyers Cave Fire Company starting Monday morning.
Two paid medics from Augusta County will respond calls from Weyers Cave, Mount Sydney and the New Hope area seven days a week.
The move is part of a five year plan for fire departments in the county, which added 21 extra paid positions and relocated two ambulances.
Assistant Chief Matthew Ruff said firefighters and Augusta County officials started discussed the addition of the ambulance in 2008.
He said this is the first ambulance housed at the station.
"Quicker response for the Weyers Cave, Mount Sydney area is huge for the community," said Ruff.
In 2012, the volunteer fire company received 185 emergency medical services calls out of a total of 693. Currently, medics who volunteer for the fire company respond to those calls. However, they can't transport patients to the hospital.
President Ian Heatwole said this can make a difference during an emergency.
"One of the most important things for a successful outcome on a medical call is getting to the hospital within an hour, as quick as possible," said Heatwole.
Rescue squads from Grottoes, Bridgewater, Staunton and Augusta County transport patients in the areas covered by the Weyers Cave Fire Company.
"When an ambulance is five to seven miles from the scene you're eating into that time. Quicker access to the hospital equals better outcomes," said Heatwole.
For better outcomes, Ruff said it's necessary to still rely on surrounding rescue squads.
"With only having one ambulance if they're out on a call. We are still gonna need Grottoes, Bridgewater or Staunton and Augusta or maybe if you need more than one ambulance at that incident," said Ruff.
According to firefighters, they have never ru
n into an issue for not having an ambulance. However, they said this could help down the road to prevent problems as population continues to grow.
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