UNION COUNTY — What can you get for $1.1 million?
If you’re the people of Union County you’re getting a “nice new state-of-the-art” EMS station with plenty of room to expand as the county grows and its need for EMS services increases.
The Union County EMS station is located at 1262 South Duncan Bypass, Union, in a building that for many years served as an automotive dealership. While a suitable enough location for the EMS to operate out of, the facility was not designed for that purpose and so changes needed to be made, changes that are now under way and will, when completed, make the station the kind of facility that will allow EMS to more fully meet the present — and future — emergency needs of the people of Union County.
“We’ve begun a renovation project here at EMS,” EMS Director Eric Harold said this past Thursday. “It was approved in the March Union County Council meeting. A $1.1 million bond was approved for this renovation project.”
Harold said the goal of the project is to renovate the facility so that it fully reflects the needs of the EMS.
“It will be a nice, new, state-of-the-art facility that will house people comfortably 24/7, 365 days a year,” Harold said. “We never close.”
Harold said that work is already well under way on the first phase of the project.
“It’s a three-phase project (and) we are in the middle to latter half of phase one,” Harold said. “When phase one is completed there will be business offices including my office, an office for training, an office for the crews to do their patient care documentation, and a meeting or conference room.”
Harold said the second phase of the project will be designed to address the housing needs of EMS crews on duty each shift.
“When phase two is completed each employee will have their own room complete with sink, toilet, and shower,” Harold said. “There will be living quarters with a kitchen, a dining area, and a common room.”
EMS currently has, including Harold, 22 full-time employees as well as 15 part-time employees. Harold said the seven rooms will be for the seven full-time employees on duty each shift.
Harold said that the third phase of the project will involve the development of an exercise room as well as all finish work including new floors and the final coat of paint.
In addition, Harold said that the renovated facility will also be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant as well as brought up to all building code and fire code standards.
Another feature of the renovated facility will be its on-site generator which will ensure it has power at all times.
“We’ll have a generator for back-up power,” Harold said. “It will be a three-phase natural gas powered generator.”
Harold said that part of the cost of the generator will be covered by a grant the EMS received.
“The Timken Foundation gave us a $75,000 grant towards the purchase of the generator last year,” Harold said.
Harold said the renovations are expected to be completed sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the facility ready to not only serve the people of Union County today, but also already ready to grow with the county in the future.
“It’s going to be really nice,” Harold said of the renovated facility. “It’s going to be one of the nicest EMS stations in the Upstate. This place is designed for growth. We’ll have room here already for expansion.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 8654-762-4090.