Ambulance lights

NORTHFORK —  Personnel with a McDowell County ambulance service which closed this week after 30 years of service immediately went back on duty as members of another service that will continue covering the Northfork area.

“As one chapter ends, a new one began Thursday, in a familiar place with some familiar faces. Sadly, after providing caring and compassionate service to the Northfork community since 1989, Widener’s Ambulance Service closed the book after 30 years of operation at 5 p.m.,” officials with Stat EMS said Friday in a press release.

Widener’s Ambulance Service personnel signed off for the last time.

“EMT Eric Childress contacted McDowell Control by radio for a solemn sign-off, officially advising the McDowell County 911 Center that Widener’s Ambulance Service would be ‘10-6, out of service, for the final time,’” according to Stat EMS officials.

In the same moment, Childress and his partner, EMT Andrew Daniel, went off duty from Widener’s Ambulance 486 for the final time, they were immediately back on duty. They were maintaining ambulance coverage, from their familiar Northfork location, in the apartment above the Widener’s Funeral Home office: only now they were on duty in Stat EMS Unit 607.

“Stat EMS of West Virginia is pleased and honored to announce that in coordination with Widener’s Ambulance Service, Stat EMS is continuing the tradition that Jimmy and Mary Ann Widener began 30 years ago, caring for the citizens of McDowell County,” Stat EMS officials said. “Stat EMS is also very excited to welcome the employees of Widener’s Ambulance Service to the Stat EMS team in McDowell County, allowing familiar faces to continue to provide care to their own communities and hometown.”

While assuming operations at the Northfork location, Stat EMS still continue operating and maintaining its existing stations in Bradshaw and Iaeger.

“The newest “addition to the family” at the Northfork location reinforces Stat EMS’s commitment to provide both emergency 911 ambulance service as well as non-emergency transportation to the citizens of McDowell County. Stat EMS also operates four ambulance stations in Wyoming County and four ambulance stations in Mingo County,” Stat EMS officials said.

Stat EMS units are dispatched by both the McDowell County 911 Center as well as a 24-hour communications center in Pineville, known as StatComm. Stat EMS can be reached by calling 304-436-2900 or 304-967-1117. 

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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