BUCKHANNON — Firefighter Captain Joey Baxa spoke on behalf of the Buckhannon Fire Department (BFD) to request the Upshur County Commission to acknowledge that BFD is a licensed Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Rapid Response Agency (non-transporting) for licensing requirements. Commissioners approved the request Thursday morning.
The fire department has been considering EMS licensure for quite some time, according to Baxa. The BFD has EMS licensing approval from the city to work inside the city limits, but they need approval from the county to work outside of the city limits. He added that this EMS licensure has been recommended by the state because of how much the Buckhannon Fire Department has grown. “We’ve grown extensively over the last four to five years to the number of care providers we have,” Baxa said. “We now have 14 EMTs and one paramedic.”
Baxa explained they are typically taking medical calls inside of the city limits. He recalled 92 incidents outside of their reach last year. Baxa mentioned that this approval will impact their ability to help Upshur County EMS, as well as other fire departments, when they need back up. “This is basically so we can just continue what we have been doing…We will still maintain a good working relationship with the Upshur County EMS,” Baxa said.
“It is definitely a benefit for the two agencies working together,” Commissioner Sam Nolte added.
Commissioner Kristie Tenney concluded with thanking the Buckhannon Fire Department and Upshur County EMS for what they do for the City of Buckhannon and Upshur County.