New ambulance placed in service

Patrick County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Allen (left), Steve Hutchens, of the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad (center), and Eddie Hartman (right), with the new ambulance when it was delivered in January. Hutchens, who has ties to Patrick County, helped to facilitate the deal. (Contributed photos)

By Taylor Boyd

A Loudoun County man with local ties helped Patrick County Fire and EMS add a third ambulance to its fleet.

Steve Hutchens, a 1975 graduate of Patrick County High School, heard about the county’s career crew from his parents, who still live in the county.

In December, Hutchens, who now lives and works in Loudoun County, mentioned Patrick County’s need for a new truck to the rescue chief of the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad.

“When we have an asset that is fully depreciated, the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad looks for other squads in Virginia that could benefit from it,” Hutchens said. “We typically sell our assets for a $1 to help other localities that have a need for new assets.”

Patrick County Fire and EMS received the new ambulance on January 18, according to Emergency Services Coordinator Steve Allen. He said the department paid $1 for the 2007 F450 4-wheel drive ambulance, “so it was essentially a donation.”

The new truck makes three for the county, all of which have fewer than 100,000 miles, and allows for the organization to have a spare ambulance for when one of the others is undergoing maintenance.

This new ambulance has also been added to the rotation, which helps the crews with restocking and decontamination.

Eddie Hartman (left), and Carl Smith (right), are pictured in front 2007 F450 4-wheel drive ambulance which was purchased for $1 from the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad. It now sports new lettering: Patrick County Fire & EMS.

“If the crew just completed a 911 call and the ambulance needs to be restocked with supplies, and another 911 call comes out, they will be able to use the other ambulance the cover the call before having to restock the first ambulance,” Allen said, adding that the trucks are switched out after each 911 call to allow for proper decontamination.

It also arrived at an opportune time, as the county prepares to provide an ambulance from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., which is considered a prime time for calls, at least through Dec. 30, Allen said. Federal CARES Act funds will be used to pay for the additional coverage, he added.

For his part, Hutchens is glad it all worked out.

“I hope it makes a huge difference,” Hutchens said.