Carrsville firefighters concerned about EMS plan

CARRSVILLE, Va. (WAVY) — Firefighters with the Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department said they were concerned about a plan Isle of Wight County leaders are considering that would shift EMS responsibilities for the southern part of the county to Franklin.

Deputy Chief Judson West said Franklin handled the responsibilities until three years ago, when Carrsville took over.

WAVY/Erin Kelly
WAVY/Erin Kelly

At the time of that transition, the Franklin chief of emergency services told a local newspaper his department’s calls would be reduced by 300 a year. He also told the paper it was getting to the point his staff was going to miss calls in Franklin because they were in Isle of Wight County.

West said his department has worked well with Franklin, but moving EMS operations out of Carrsville could be harmful to residents in the southern part of the county.

“If you take this away, then now we are relying upon another jurisdiction to take care of it,” he said. “We just don’t feel like the citizens are going to get that same coverage that they have right now because there won’t be a medic dedicated to the citizens in the southern end.”

County spokesman Don Robertson said the move could save the county $150,000 a year, but it was not just about money.

“Not an effort to take anything away from anybody; it’s a matter of trying to provide adequate support and adequate services for the entire community,” Robertson said. “Many of our volunteers, and they do a great job, but they work during the day, as would be expected, and so many of them work outside of the Carrsville community, which does not make them available to run calls during the daytime.”

The Carrsville Volunteer Fire Department said it currently has two, paid full-time EMTs trained in Advanced Life Support, as well as part-time volunteers. Robertson said the county is also looking at back-up care for the area, like emergency medical support from Windsor.

The proposal still needs to go before the Board of Supervisors, which meets Thursday.

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