After years of not having their own EMS service, the Griggsville and Perry areas now have a service up and running.
This comes after a group of seven certified volunteers decided residents needed a quicker response time in an emergency.
Officials with the new North Pike EMS service said they’ve had to depend on the county for 15 years now, after their service was shut down due to lack of interest and funding.
But now, that’s not the case, as the new EMS crew can help residents in a matter of minutes.
“Typically a response time from Pittsfield to here can be 20 to 25 minutes on a good day,” North Pike EMS Coordinator Jeff Butler said. “I like doing whatever I can to help the community and let the community benefit from it. This seemed like a big step towards that.”
Butler, along with six other volunteers now make up the North Pike EMS service, intended to help residents in the Griggsville and Perry area.
The team is made up of emergency workers who will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We’ll go to the scene, do whatever we need to, can do, to help that patient until the ambulance service gets there,” Butler said.
Although they do still have to wait for a Pike County ambulance to arrive, the goal is for them to be on scene with medical equipment to offer what immediate assistance they can.
It’s something Pike County Emergency Management Director Josh Martin said can be the difference between life and death.
“Having these guys in place in the northern part of the county that can be quicker with life saving treatment can be the difference of the outcome of these patients when they call 911,” Martin said.
Butler said they will operate out of the Perry Fire Station. He said they’ll have everything from Narcan to oxygen and first-aid kits to do what they can to promptly help out patients.
“In a situation with a heart attack or a stroke victim, those minutes are crucial and we are looking to narrow that time frame,” Butler said.
In an emergency, Butler said the Pike County Ambulance district dispatches them.
Butler said they are running on private funding, so they are always accepting donations to keep up with equipment.