ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) - Anderson County Emergency Medical Services has made some changes within the department. Instead of seven agencies providing ambulance support in the county, now it’s just one.

Medshore Ambulance was awarded the contract with Anderson County back in July.

Starting September 1, Medshore became the sole ambulance service provider, and the county now uses more paramedics for EMS.

“We hired a total of 44 full time paramedics and about 30 part time paramedics,” said Steven Kelly, Anderson County EMS Director.

Here’s how the changes work: whenever 911 is called for medical emergency, the dispatcher will ask questions to determine if ambulance will be dispatched or a quick response vehicle.

The ambulance will be manned by two Emergency Medical Technicians that can provide up to a certain level of care.

The QRV will be a single paramedic that has more training to perform critical skills.

The plan is to not house both vehicles in the same location.

“We’re trying to keep them spread out to get more coverage of the areas, in an attempt to have someone on scene that’s medically trained in a faster amount of time,” he said.

The Answer Desk received a question about response time for those who live a farther distance. So, we asked about it.

“90 percent of the time we want to have someone on scene within nine minutes and 59 seconds,” Kelly explained.

Just like with any company, changes can bring challenges. This operational shift hasn’t been without some hiccups. Kelly told he they’ve had issues restocking, response. One of the bigger problems was with radio frequencies having to switched.

“With the services spread out as big as it is, we may have placed a ambulance or a QRV in a response area that did not have good radio coverage,” he said.

As the changes continue to be worked out, the director wants the public to trust EMA will provide the level of care they’re use to.

“Our goal is that they see no change in the level of care,” Kelly said.

Copyright 2021 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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