PUTNAM COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — Sunday marked the first day both Teays Valley and Hurricane fire departments began their new emergency medical services.
The first call at Hurricane Fire and Rescue was received just after 9 a.m. For the past 40 years, Putnam County EMS has handled all calls in both communities.
“It’s a sort of a return to our roots,” Hurricane Fire Chief Deron Wilkes said.
His department hired six new crew members including a medical director. Kaitlyn Burger, a new EMT, has trained extensively for her first day on duty.
“We’ve prepared with area orientation, we did a lot of truck orientation, we learned a lot of the basic protocols that we need to know,” she said.
And when the first call came in.
“It actually went really smoothly,” Burger said. “I think our orientation has helped with that a lot.”
Wilkes said their new team is made up of staff that know the area, which will allow them to better serve the community.
“They spent the last week learning every creek and hollow we have in our district,” he said. “They’ll know Hurricane, they’ll know the people of Hurricane, they’ll know the nuances of Hurricane. I just think it will put us in a better spot.”
It’s a proud moment for Wilkes that his department can provide the same service they did in the past.
“It makes me really happy,” he said. “I’m in my 36th year here and it makes me happy to see us come back where we started. We’re actually becoming a full-service emergency services provider. Not only are we doing fire, not only are we doing rescue, no we’re doing EMS as well.”