CEDAR GROVE, W.Va. — A change for the longtime ambulance services through the Cedar Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Kanawha County will not impact service to the public. That’s the message the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority wants to drive home about the recent change of management.

“The biggest change will be that the ambulance will have a blue and white stripe on it and not the Cedar Grove logo,” said KCEAA Spokesman Tom Susman.

Cedar Grove’s volunteer fire department operated an ambulance service out of their fire hall for 50 years. According to a post on the fire department’s Facebook page, the ambulance service started in 1974 when the Legislature passed a bill requiring two employees on each ambulance and one must be trained in first aid and CPR. At that time, according to the fire department, they started with an ambulance provided by Cook Funeral Home and training for the personnel by the Valley Camp Coal Company. Through the years, the operation increased in training, improved the equipment, and became the highest level of care.

“Kanawha County Ambulance has had medics on those trucks. We’ve been working cooperatively and now the operation will be managed through Kanawha County Ambulance, but the trucks will still be stationed at the fire department,” said Susman. “As I understand it, employees at the fire department and everybody there has been offered to be employed by Kanawha County Ambulance, so there shouldn’t be a change in personnel.”

Susman added to his knowledge this was the last volunteer fire department which ran its own ambulance service in the county. He said others entered similar partnerships with the county through the yeas, but eventually were absorbed. KCEAA wanted to reassure the public this is purely a change in management, not level of care.

“As costs go up and reimbursements go down, ambulance companies across the country have been stressed. This allows for a more efficient use of administrative resources so we don’t impact the level of care,” he added.

Since the switch on Sunday, the service has has five runs. As always, the backup service is provided by KCEAA and its backup protocol when the trucks are in-service.