The response to a call for help is even closer with the opening of a new Emergency Medical Services station on Kent Island.
The Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services recently opened the station just south of the Matapeake school complex on Route 8 and Davidson Drive. The station is fully equipped and will help decrease response time and improve service to the Kent Island and Grasonville area.
“This is a great opportunity for us and for the community,” said the county’s Emergency
Medical Services chief Scott Haas about the new station, which opened in October.
Haas said seventy percent of the emergency calls in the county come from Kent Island, Grasonville and Queenstown.
“We had one unit covering the Kent Island and Grasonville area…and it was anywhere from a 12 to 20 minute response time to southern Kent Island,” said Haas. When a call came in from southern Kent Island, there was just one unit covering the entire area and it could take as long as 20 minutes to get to the location from the nearest station located at the Kent Narrows Marina.
The opening of the Kent Island station allows paramedics to get to some southern Kent Island locations in as little as six minutes. One of the Department’s primary objectives is to have a system wide response time no longer than 12 minutes and this new station is helping immensely, said Haas.
The building is owned by the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education and has been leased to the county through the Department of Parks and Recreation. When a need arose for a new EMS station on Kent Island, Parks and Recreation offered the space to DES.
Haas gives much of the credit for renovation of the building to Queen Anne’s County Fire Marshal George Eber. The building, said Haas, was in real disrepair when DES took possession in September.
Eber sprearheaded the volunteer effort to repair the building and recruited staff from DES to clean, put up new sheetrock, paint and fix the plumbing. The furniture was all donated from other county departments. “We begged, borrowed and stole from every department…these guys were a very resourceful bunch,” said Haas, who estimates total cost for the project at about $30,000, including a new septic, fire suppression system, heat pump and roof. “We did a lot on a shoe string budget,” he said.
Haas said there is room for future expansion of the building in the attic, as well as plenty of storage space inside and in the garage. The Kent Island station is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Department of Emergency Services is comprised of four divisions; Office of the Fire Marshal, Emergency Medical Services, Communications and Emergency Management.