Madison County will be home to four Emergency Medical Service facilities after the construction of a new addition on Enterprise Drive off Duncannon Lane.

The contract for the estimated $947,000 facility was awarded to Lexington-based JMBA Inc. and construction is to start this fall.

“Hopefully it will only take about nine months,” said Jimmy Cornelison, Madison County coroner who serves as director of Madison County EMS. “When I talked to the contractors, they were anxious to start.”

The county Emergency Medical Service board bought approximately 2.4 acres from the Madison County Industrial Board. The land eventually will be the home to an estimated 5,000-square-foot facility that will staff six new Emergency Management Technicians and will have room for three ambulances.

The facility will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with workers on a 24-hour shift and off for 48 hours, Cornelison said.

“We’ve already put those people working out of our current stations just to get them acclimated with what we do,” he said.

The new employees’ salaries already are a part of the county EMS 2006-07 fiscal year budget.

“We had a lot of people apply who had some excellent experience,” Cornelison said. ‘We are very pleased with who we have been able to hire. We do the best to take care of our people and they do their best to take care of our patients.”

The three existing Emergency Management Agencies are located on KY 1016 in Berea, South Keeneland Drive and the Eastern Kentucky University Bypass.

“Our run volume is up and we need the help,” he said. “Putting (a EMS facility) between Richmond and Berea will make a big difference. When the interchange at Duncannon is built, it will allow easier access to the Interstate. Right now, we’re very limited as to where we can take an ambulance.”

As the community grows, there will be an increase in emergency runs made by County EMS workers, said Carlos Coyle, director of Madison County EMS.

“We’re on course to do over 12,000 runs this year,” he said. “It has been estimated that over 2,500 homes will be built in the Duncannon area. This will give us a new station so that we can serve Richmond and Berea as needed, and it lines our stations up the I-75 corridor.”

The new EMA facility not only will increase the amount of emergency care available to Madison County residents, but also will give them access to an additional electrical generator in case of a power outage, Cornelison said.

Each county EMA facility contains a generator, which is something new to the county.

“We had no generators in the county before I made a trip to New Orleans to help after Hurricane Katrina,” he said. “When I got back to our first board meeting, the chairman, W.O. Bradley, asked what knowledge I had brought back.”

Cornelison realized the importance of having extra electrical generators in case of a catastrophe.

“Without power, you have nothing,” he said. “A very, very small generator in New Orleans at that time was worth a fortune. If we had a disaster here, we could house people in the South Keeneland Drive facility’s bay area, get them a hot meal and let them shower.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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