The closing of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital will mean will take longer to get Greenup County residents to the hospital in case of an emergency and Greenup first responders are doing everything possible to be ready.
According to Greenup E911 Director Buford Hurley, the travel time to King’s Daughters Hospital in Ashland will be as much as 24 minutes. He told members of the Greenup County Fiscal Court that he’s already been in meetings with personnel from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital and the emergency department from King’s Daughters to discuss what the shutdown of the hospital will mean for EMS services in the county. Hurley says he’s also discussed the challenges with the chiefs of county’s fire departments to make sure everyone is on the same page. Hurley says he believes King’s Daughters will be expanding their emergency department in anticipation of the additional changes.
The shutdown of OLBH isn’t the only problem facing Greenup County, Hurley also addressed communication issues related to the inability to get a phone signal in some parts of the county. He says he’s been in discussion with AT&T and the company is looking at remedies including attempts to reposition and boost signals from receivers across the river in Ohio to installing a temporary tower on a school building.
In better news, Hurley said that plans for a new home for emergency services were moving along nicely and he sought approval from the fiscal court to apply for three grants needed to complete work on a new building. Hurley said that, ideally, he’d like E911 to be in its new home by the end of July but that may depend on how much grant money the agency is able to secure and how quickly.