Sullivan County EMS planning station move to reduce response times

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – Sullivan County EMS has plans to relocate their busiest station in Kingsport.

It’s a bid to help reduce response times, moving the station to a more centralized location in the downtown area. Sullivan County leaders said shaving off just minutes on a call, could mean the difference between life and death.

Sullivan County EMS Station 4 is currently located at the intersection of Wilcox and Industry Drive in Kingsport, but that could soon change.

“We’re looking at moving that station to a more central location to where we can serve the city of Kingsport and the Kingsport area better,” Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable said.

The plan has been in the works for more than a year to move the station near downtown Kingsport, closer to where the majority of calls are coming from.

“Especially with all the employees, the growing businesses, I think it would be a very good idea,” said Sarah Beth Rains, who lives and works in Kingsport.

Mayor Venable agrees. He says a new home base would make it easier to get ambulances on the road.

“If you’re responding you don’t want to pull out and get into a line of traffic,” Venable said.

Sullivan County Health Department’s regional director Gary Mayes says station 4 is the busiest station in the county, responding to nearly 12 thousand calls in one year, with an average response time of 6 minutes and 11 seconds.

“It’d be easy to say that’s an excellent response time, but truly we want to do better,” Mayes said.

“In emergency situations – somebody bleeding out, somebody having a heart attack, minutes are actually lives in this case,” Venable said. “If we’re two minutes closer, we might save a life.”

Mayor Venable says right now no building has been chosen, but the goal is to relocate into a new EMS facility by the spring of next year.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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