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W.Va. suspends county EMS license, criticizes ambulances, staff

Former Calhoun EMS Inc. Director Julie Sears responded by saying that all the providers have had certifications


The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources alleges that Calhoun EMS Inc. had improperly equipped ambulances and uncertified personnel.

Photo/Calhoun EMS

By Leila Merrill

CALHOUN COUNTY, W.Va. — The state of West Virginia suspended Calhoun County’s EMS license on Sept. 1, a development which dominated the county commission meeting Monday, WCHS reported.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources alleged that Calhoun EMS ambulances were improperly equipped and staffed by uncertified personnel.

The county is now paying for two ambulances to respond to emergencies from an outside organization.

Julie Sears resigned from her role as agency director but is still employed in an emergency and 911 role with the county. She says all providers at Calhoun EMS are certified.

Area residents at the meeting voiced mixed and at times strong feelings about the nonprofit’s operations, including accusations of costing loved ones their lives.

“I’m going to tell you one thing,” resident Ronnie Brown said at the meeting. “That’s the worst people I’ve ever seen in my entire life, and I lost my wife because of that.”

The suspension is in effect until at least Sept. 14 and until an inspection of facilities and vehicles yields positive results.

County commissioners are seeking resolutions to the EMS issue, as well as a new manager, but funds are scarce. Sears was making $19,200 annually in the role before she resigned.

A levy worth about $260,000 is on the ballot again in November.