• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Midway EMS station opens

FUTURE WOODFORD JUDGE-EXECUTIVE James Kay, holding a pair of scissors and his son, cut the ribbon for the new Midway EMS station that opened last Friday, Oct. 19. To his left is present Judge-Executive John Coyle, who called the opening and the plan to build a new county fire station in the western portion of the county park a “win-win” for everybody. (Photo by John McGary)

Woodford Judge-Executive John Coyle called the Friday, Oct. 19, opening of a county emergency medical services (EMS) station at 60 East Leestown Road near I-64 a “win-win” for everybody.

The building has been vacant since January, when the county closed the fire station that had been there and moved near the Midway water treatment plant at 375 West Leestown Road.

“This was needed for the north end of the county. The fire station (to be built) at the end of the county property on (U.S.) 62 will allow folks in that area of the county to receive a better rate on their fire protection. This is win-win for everybody, and Freeman (Woodford EMS Director Freeman Bailey), God bless you,” Coyle said. “He was the go-between the fire chief and myself, between two attorneys, between the fire district board, the fiscal court, and … we kept him busy. I was so afraid that this process and the actual changing of the deed and stuff wasn’t going to happen during my term, but we got it done and it is beneficial to all of the county … because Woodford County folks win when you work together.”

The county will build a new fire station in the western portion of the Woodford County Park in about two years, according to Woodford Fire Chief John Smith. They’ll put a training pad there for training with trucks before that, he said.

Coyle said increased activity at Midway University and Midway Station, along with Northside Elementary School and I-64, as showing the need for a Midway EMS station. Bailey said the new station, which will initially be staffed for 12 hours a day Monday through Friday, offers a clear time savings for area residents, whose emergency medical calls were responded to by the county fire department on Big Sink Road.

“Probably about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the traffic and the time of the day, because coming across Midway Road, you can’t pass very well with these trucks,” Bailey said. “I think it’s a great thing for the community. We’ve wanted to get a truck on this end of the town, because the call volume has increased. We’ve been averaging one to two calls a day in Midway for the last year…”

Bailey complimented Woodford Fiscal Court for their commitment – and funding. “We gave them the data, and they stepped up when it was time and made this happen,” Bailey said.

Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift also praised Bailey and county leaders for carrying out the land swap and funding the EMS station.

“This is going to ease a lot of anxiety a lot of people have had here for a long time. It’s really been a serious issue. People are really afraid of having a heart attack … (and) people sometimes have to wait 10, 15 minutes and that’s not going to have to happen anymore. So it’s a huge deal. You can’t overstate this,” Vandegrift said.

For several years, the Midway City Council discussed the need for an EMS station there, and Vandegrift said in the meantime, the city’s fire department offered medical training and bought an automatic heart compressor. “But now, this is even better. It’s so great that we have that stuff, because our guys will still assist with them, I think, in many ways… It’s a total game-changer, no doubt about that,” Vandegrift said.

Vandegrift said the county has not yet asked the City of Midway to help fund the EMS station. As Coyle finished his remarks, he addressed the funding issue to his successor, James Kay, who was present for the ribbon-cutting and will take office in January.

“I’m not going to have in my budget enough money to man it, but when you get there, you’re going to have to come up with the money sooner or later to have a crew in here around the clock, so get prepared for that …” Coyle said.

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