The Radford City Fire Department took over the operation of Emergency Medical Services last week.
The city had a three-decade working relationship with Carilion to provide for these services; however, the RCFD assumed the first responder responsibilities Dec. 4.
“It has been our privilege and honor to serve the people of Radford,” said Krista Henderson, senior director of Carilion Clinic Patient Transportation. “We’re supportive of the efforts Radford City is taking to take on their EMS operations, and we’re committed to making this a smooth transition for the community.”
City spokesperson Jenni Wilder wrote in an email that Fire Chief Rodney Haywood and City Manager David Ridpath first discussed the possibility last December.
“Logically it makes sense to have Fire and EMS Operations under one roof, it is also a cost savings to the city. It costs Radford less to have both operations combined,” Wilder wrote.
According to information on the city’s website, the 2017 fiscal year (July, 1, 2017-June 30, 2018) budget is $1,269,342 for the fire department and $1,485,052 for the EMS. The proposed budget for 2018 fiscal year is $993,720 for the fire department and $1,497,067 for the EMS.
To ensure the same level of service, seven current firefighters have undergone EMT training and certification and nine Firefighter/Paramedics or Firefighter/EMTs were hired. All EMS service will be located at 1500 Wadsworth Street and will be provided 24/7.
“Radford has a staff of 16 EMTs and six paramedics that are available for calls, and we are currently working to hire volunteer staff to help as well. This staff will be able to provide the EMS services to the entirety of Radford,” Wilder wrote.
There are about 1,950 EMS calls, as well as 650 fire calls each year in Radford. The City of Radford has mutual aid contracts in place with Pulaski and Montgomery Counties, should the need arise for multiple calls at a time, or should a mass casualty incident occur.
Radford owns two ambulances (bought in 2008 and 2013) that will be included in the transition over from Carilion, and in the near future, Radford intends to add a third ambulance (expected to cost between $210,000-260,000), with financial assistance from grants and other sourced funding.
“The Radford Fire Department is ready to provide Emergency Medical Services to Radford; the veteran staff and the new hires are trained, certified and excited to deliver the highest level of care to the community,” Haywood said.
Emergency Medical Services calls should be directed to the 911 Dispatch Center, as always.