Commissioners approve Whiteville Fire Dept. as first responders for medical emergencies
By Allen Turner, The News Reporter
Columbus County commissioners Monday night unanimously granted a request to allow the Whiteville Fire Department to respond to emergency medical calls in the city limits.
City Manager Darren Currie, accompanied by Fire Chief David Yergeau, formally made the request on behalf of the city. Whiteville Rescue Unit Chief Shannon Strickland joined them to show his organization’s support for the request.
Whiteville Rescue Unit still will be the primary responder for such emergencies, but the action will allow the fire department to answer medical calls if the rescue unit is tied up with other incidents.
The policy change will effect only calls within the city.
“We’re asking for the fire department to be able to supplement the rescue unit they are out of pocket, because they do have to respond to calls in their district outside the city limits and to calls in other districts, because they’re the only paramedic unit in the county,” Currie said. “What we want to do is, if the rescue unit is on another call, be able to provide the citizens of Whiteville with good, active, immediate help.”
Yergeau added, “A lot of times, such as for an auto accident which we already respond to anyway, we can get there before the rescue unit does and start treating the patient and get them ready for the rescue unit to transport to the hospital.”