The new Sebastian County EMS facility located at 221 South Coker Street in Greenwood was dedicated Friday afternoon.
County Judge, David Hudson, kicked off the ceremony by recounting the history of the service in Sebastian County. “We have been in service here for 44 years,” said Hudson. “My service with ems began in 1983 under County Judge Doug Harper. For 16 years I was responsible for managing the ems department. During that time I developed a real appreciation for ems and the services provided to our citizens by these dedicated professionals on call to save lives.”
1974 - established as Basic level service with 6 EMTs.
1985 - the ambulance fee was set at $18.
1986 - certified intermediate service introduced.
1989 - certified paramedic service begins.
1993 - implemented the first responder program.
2004 - second ambulance and crew added.
2011- vehicle laptops added.
2016 - voters approved increase from $18 user fee to $43 in 2017 and $68 in 2018.
2017 - approved bid for new EMS facility.
Hudson explained that the county complex located on the property of the new station will be upgraded as well with the road department and the old ems building receiving remodels. When completed the old ems building will match the new building and will utilized as classrooms for first responders and firefighters.
Greenwood Mayor, Doug Kinslow, was on hand and proclaimed October 5 to be Sebastian County EMS and Rescue Recognition Day in the city. Kinslow also presented the judge with a key to the city.
Greenwood resident, Dr. James Burgess, spoke to the crowd, gave a testimony about his experience with ems and offered a blessing of the service and medical professionals.
“I want to thank you,” said Burgess. “I want to thank the first responders and all of those that have a part in this. I want to thank my community again for being the best place in the world, I believe, to live.”