CANA, Va. — Two months after Carroll County officials announced they would be stationing full-time EMS workers in or near Cana, Virginia, the county has taken ownership of the Cana Rescue Squad buildings on U.S. 52.
The buildings had been owned and maintained by the independent, volunteer rescue squad. The county did not address the fate of that organization in making the announcement it would be purchasing the agency’s building, other than to say some of its volunteers would still be working with the county in emergency roles.
According to Carroll County Administrator Steven Truitt, the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) approved a resolution to accept the deed to the two buildings on U.S. 52 in Cana during a recent meeting.
The action came after the Cana Rescue Squad voted to deed the buildings over to the county, Truitt said. The IDA also voted to give Truitt authority to sign a banknote for $250,000 to pay the mortgage on the building because Cana Rescue Squad still owed $177,000 on the property.
“So we are taking that over and we are going to spend a little money to fix it up so we can have people there 24/7, and then that part of the county will have response times that should be more than twice as fast as what they are getting now,” Truitt said.
This continues the work started in July, when the county announced it would be stationing its own full-time EMS workers in Cana. At that time, the county said the volunteer rescue squad was still welcome to work with the county in supplying service to that portion of the county.
“Although the Cana Rescue Squad worked very hard and the volunteers were very dedicated, 70 or more percent of the calls down in that part of county were being run out of Hillsville. It is not acceptable if you are running 70 percent of your calls out of Hillsville,” said Truitt.
“So the plan now is to have three full-time county squads of two people each and they will work with whichever of the volunteers want to keep working with us. They will be worked into the mix as responders and they will be working out of that building.
“They have already been helping a lot, but we are going to formalize it into the schedule more so it is easier to plan,” Truitt said.
Truitt said one ambulance and one other vehicle will be stationed at Cana Rescue Squad at all times. When that ambulance is gone, Carroll will send one of its three ambulances down to Fancy Gap so it can respond in either direction until the Cana ambulance returns.
He said the Carroll County Board of Supervisors will formalize an agreement with the IDA during the county’s Sept. 11 meeting to lease the building back to the county.
“That is how our auditors like it to be and that money will basically just cover the payments and the upkeep of the building,” Truitt said. “Between that and signing the bank loan, we are done.”
Allen Worrell is the editor of The Carroll News and can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN.