NEW INFO: Barboursville EMS Station Named for Director Gordon Merry

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 12/13/12 @ 2 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new EMS station in Barboursville will be named for the man responsible its existence.

Thursday, the Cabell County Commission announced that the new EMS station that will be built in Barboursville will be named in honor of Cabell EMS Director Gordon Merry.

The new station will be the "A. Gordon Merry EMS Station."

After the meeting, Merry spoke with about the privilege.

"It's a big honor and I'm glad the commission had the faith in me... to do something like that," said Merry.

The new station is located on Riverview Drive off Rt. 60 just east of the Alternate Route10 intersection.

Merry says the station will fill a huge gap in their coverage area and increase response time.

UPDATE 8/30/12
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Bids were literally coming in at the last minute to build a new ambulance station in Barboursville.

The Cabell County Commission held a special meeting Thursday morning to accept bids for the new Barboursville EMS station.

The Commission received seven bids from companies located from Portsmouth, OH to St. Albans, WV. The bids ranged from just over 1.4 to 1.8 million dollars.

Gordon Merry with Cabell EMS says the new station will be located on Riverview Drive off Rt. 60 just east of the Alternate Route10 intersection.

Merry says the station will fill a huge gap in their coverage area and increase response time.

It's something the county has needed and he wants to get the ball rolling "just as quick as humanly possible I can get the contractors moving, get the architects moving, I'm going to push this project, very hard," Merry said.

The bids will be reviewed and a decision will be made on which bid to accept at the Commission's next meeting on September 13th.

UPDATE 3/29/12 @ 5 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When a medical emergency strikes, you want an ambulance to arrive in the blink of an eye. That happens more quickly for some than others depending on the nearest EMS station. That's why folks in one community have been fighting so hard for so long to get a station closer to home. Friday, a big step toward making that happen.

And just like that, a two year effort by Cabell County EMS Director, Gordon Merry, finally takes a big step toward reality. The Cabell County Commission has approved the purchase of a piece of land on Riverview Dr. in the heart of Barboursville. This is where the county's eighth EMS station will go.

“We're right around the corner from Wyngate. We're placing it in an area where it's sorely needed,” said Gordon. headed over to chat with folks in the Wyngate Senior Living Community who couldn't be happier.

“Sure! If I'm going to live here, I want something close,” said William Warnock, a Wyngate resident.

“It would be an obvious benefit to the community and we support it,” said Jack Deakin Sr.

Armed with a few Post-It notes and a giant map of Cabell County, we chatted with Gordon about the big need for this new station and the big benefits.

‘Right now, the Barboursville area is covered by four other stations,” said Gordon.

“Response times are about 10 minutes and I’d like for them to be much less than that. So, putting a station in the heart of Barboursville would reduce that drastically. A big chunk of our calls come from Barboursville,” continued Gordon.

The last station to be built in the county was EMS Station #7 in Milton about two years ago. The need was already high, but the number of calls doubled once the station was built.

“People, once they see it built, will utilize it more because they know it's there,” said Gordon.

The property is 2.45 acres and will cost Cabell County EMS $130,000 an acre. Once they purchase the land, they hope to have enough money to start building later this year with a potential ribbon-cutting for next summer. All of the funds come directly from the money users pay into the EMS service.

UPDATE 8/4/11 @ 2:12 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Cabell County Commission took no action Thursday on where to build a new EMS station in Barboursville.

The preferred site was the old Barboursville brickyard property, but on Tuesday Mayor Paul Turman said council was not willing to part with the property for free.

Cabell County EMS Director Gordon Merry says the agency will no longer pursue that property.

During the Commission meeting, Merry presented a slide show of several other potential sites.

Following the presentation, Commissioners said they need to study the proposed locations and look a look at funding before moving forward.

Keep clicking on WSAZcom for the latest information.

ORIGINAL STORY 8/2/11 @ 11:53 p.m.
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- When you have a medical emergency and call 911, the assumption is an ambulance is going to get there as quickly as possible.

Cabell County has seven EMS stations, and none are in Barboursville, even though 911 says it gets more than 2 thousand calls from the village area a year.

Two years ago the county volunteered to put up 1.2 million dollars to build a new station in Barboursville but couldn't reach an agreement with city leaders.

Now they’re trying to put up the same amount again.

Bill Blake says his wife needed an ambulance a few weeks ago. One came to his house from the EMS station about 12 minutes away in Ona. He says he'd feel better knowing Barboursville had its own station.

"Her heart beat was way up, and it took them a good bit to get down here," he said.

At the Barboursville City Council meeting Tuesday night, Cabell County EMS Director Gordon Merry tried for the second time in two years to persuade city leaders to give up some land to make the new station happen.

Two years ago the county wanted the new EMS station built close to the former brickyard site off Peyton Street. Merry says they had enough money to build the site but not enough to buy the property, and the city wasn't willing to part with it for free.

"Even if we sell it there's no tax revenues coming from a governmental entity,” Barboursville Mayor Paul Turman said, “and I've got other companies that are serious about the 20 acres, and they don't want somebody else there."

Tuesday night Turman maintained his position that if the county wants to build there, they should pay for the land.

"We lost round one,” Merry said, “but I'm still optimistic to try to keep looking. I think we feel this is important.”

At Tuesday’s meeting a few members of the public, including Barboursville resident Tiffany Stark, said Barboursville should be willing to give up the land, as potentially making a difference between life and death with ambulance response times would be a worthy investment.

“As a resident I would be willing to give up the opportunity cost of selling property to give it to the county for an EMS station for the security and benefit to my children and family," Stark said.

Two years ago the town of Milton was willing to give up some property, so the new EMS station ended up being built there.

Tuesday night Mayor Turman suggested a few additional sites for the county to consider, but they weren't willing to give those up for free either, so Merry said he was doubtful those would come to fruition.

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