Commission honors EMS workers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 23, 2021

Health department hosting school vaccine clinics

This week, the Lawrence County Commission honored EMS workers throughout the county, marking the 10-year anniversary of Lawrence County EMS.

The commission voted at it meeting on Tuesday to declare May 16-21 National EMS Week in the county.

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“We want to thank you for efficient, compassionate and high-quality, pre-hospital care you deliver to residents and guests of Lawrence County,” Commission president DeAnna Holliday read from the proclamation.

She pointed out that the county’s EMS service has been the recipient of national awards.

“You’re on the front lines every day, providing resources and emergency care to our residents and are invaluable,” she said.
Commissioner Freddie Hayes Jr. said he had seen personally the value of EMS.

“I want to commend all EMS,” he said. “My daughter had accident recently. You don’t know how important people are until that happens. They do excellent job and I want to commend them all.”

Commissioner Colton Copley, who works as an emergency room physician for Cabell-Huntington Hospital, spoke of his interaction with Lawrence County crews.

“EMS and myself in my career as a physician work hand in hand,” he said. They care for people in a pre-hospital setting and bring them to our team in the emergency room. I always know when Lawrence County calls and brings somebody, we can count on it that those patients are receiving high quality care.”

Lawrence County Health Department director Georgia Dillon shared that sentiment in her report to the commission.

“We are so thankful for EMS,” she said. “They have really stepped up to the plate and supported us on every vaccine clinic.”
Dillon said, to date, the health department has administered 19,554 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the county, which accounts for 25 percent of the population starting a vaccine and 21 percent being completed.

These figures do not account for those who receive vaccines at hospitals and providers in West Virginia or Kentucky.

Dillon said, this week, the department was setting up vaccine clinics in schools for those 12 and older, visiting Chesapeake, South Point, Symmes Valley schools, and wrapping up the week at Ironton on Friday.

“As soon as we were able to get 12 year olds, we started going to schools,” she said. “We have really targeted them, so we can get them vaccinated before school year ends.”

Dillon said COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Lawrence County, as well as hospitalizations.

“Were a little bit concerned that there is beginning to be cases with students in schools, where there had not seen any,” she said. “There is a rise.”

Dillon said the health department had had to work from home some this week, as a water leak in their offices had caused closure of the building.

In other business, the commission:

• Heard from Tim Slone, with Wayne National Forest. He said campgrounds at Lake Vesuvius are open until mid-July, when work will begin on a water line project. He said that project will be up for bids on May 29.

He said they are working on a short-term fix to the boardwalk at Lake Vesuvius, from a fallen oak during this year’s ice storms. He said a long-term fix is being planned when they receive expected federal funding. He said they will also get federal funds for roadslip repairs.

Holliday said WNF, in partnership with the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the commission, Elkins Creek Horse Camp and others, will be hosting an event as Lake Vesuvius on June 5, as part of National Trails Day.

“It is a celebration of trails throughout out country,” she said. “And we want to showcase Wayne National Forest. I believe that is most untapped, valuable resource we have here in Lawrence County.”

She said details are still being worked out and will be announced on the commission’s website and Facebook pages

Slone said WNF will also be hosting a virtual open house on May 27 for Ironton, in which they are seeking feedback on facilities projects. Those who want to RSVP can visit their Facebook page or call 740-534-6500 for information.

• Approved flood plain permit projects, as submitted by the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District.

• Accepted the resignation of Chad Bowman, as requested by Lawrence County EMS executive director Mac Yates.

• Met in two executive session on personnel matters, with no action taken.