The newest base for Watauga Medics marked the 1 year anniversary as January came to a close. Base 3, located near the intersection of 321 and 421, began operation on January 30, 2017.
Base 3 has certainly lived up to its intended purpose. Craig Sullivan, CEO & Director of Watauga Medics, shares with WataugaOnline.com that response times are down. The biggest response time decrease is to the Beaver Dam portion of the county, where overall response time is down 6 minutes and 51 seconds. The next greatest decrease in response time is in the Cove Creek area, down 4 minutes and 35 seconds overall.
The newest base may also be impacting response times in other portions of the county. For example, response times for Blowing Rock are down 1 minute and 31 seconds. Sullivan said that he could not be sure if having Base 3 has helped with times going down in Blowing Rock, since staff from the Boone bases does not have to response to the western end of the county as much, but he added it’s certainly possible.
Sullivan said that overall response time county wide is down 1 minute and 4 seconds from 2016 through the end of 2017.
In 2014 Watauga County Commissioners purchased 13 acres, of which the ambulance station now sits on a piece of, for $102,000. The base came about after years of discussions on how to decrease response times to the western portion of the county. In 2013 data put together for the Watauga County Commissioners showed that Beaver Dam, Zionville, Cove Creek and Shawneehaw fire districts had the slowest ambulance response times due to their distance from the nearest ambulance base in Boone.