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Calhoun County EMS now ‘Pediatric Ready’

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Calhoun County

Calhoun County Emergency Medical Services has become the seventh EMS system in the state to be recognized for its ability to serve children.

“We are now a Pediatric Ready EMS service,” Calhoun County EMS Director Crystal Youmans told County Council on Monday.

Youmans said the department applied for the recognition in January.

The South Carolina EMS for Children program reviewed the county’s EMS equipment, training capabilities and outreach programs to ensure the department meets standards to qualify for the program.

The four-year recognition showcases agencies that go above and beyond by providing the best care for pediatric patients, according to the SCEMSC.

The county will receive a certificate and decals for the recognition and will be listed as Pediatric Ready on the SCEMSC website, according to the program's website.

In related matters, Youmans recognized Calhoun County paramedic Kari Williamson for her service to the department and to the community.

Youmans said Williamson has been known to find patients and give them cupcakes on their birthdays, purchased groceries for people who need help and ensured patients have the care they need from local agencies.

Williamson also teaches CPR and first aid to the community.

She was named the Calhoun County EMS Employee of the Year for 2022.

In other matters:

• The slate of board members for the newly formed Calhoun County Volunteer Fire Association were unanimously named by council.

They are: Christian Wolfe – Sandy Run; Gregory Sandlin – St. Matthews; Joshua Hales – Cameron; Randy Coleman – Fort Motte; Jeff Hammond – Caw Caw; Carson Krasselt (Bradley Bozard, alternate) – Jumper Station; Danial (Dan) Clossman – Midway and Ross Binsley – Belleville.

The board, which was selected by fire chiefs, will be responsible for forming the CCVFA and its mission going forward. The members are appointed by council for a year term.

The CCVFA will look at building a fire training facility in Calhoun County.

“The previous training facility had been used for a number of years,” county Administrator John McLauchlin said. “It was partially burned out and it was in a location that was not really desirable.”

The county's attorney will be involved in the formation of the association.

• Calhoun County Veterans Affairs Officer Robin Rucker introduced himself to council members.

Rucker is a combat veteran who served overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007 and 2008.

He said his goal is to provide the county’s veterans with a “one-stop shop” for services.

“So far, it has been very busy. It has been like drinking water from a fire hose,” Rucker said.

The county's veterans affairs office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Individuals are asked to make appointments, although walk-ins are also welcome.

Councilman John Nelson, who has known Rucker since they were in high school together, praised him as a great person to lead the county's VA.

“Robin is exceptionally qualified for this job,” Nelson said. “I don't know if we could find a better candidate to serve people in this county and the veterans we have.”

Rucker is married with seven children and five grandchildren.

• Council unanimously gave first reading by title only to eight budget ordinances covering public schools, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, the Calhoun County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, capital improvements, water and wastewater, the Calhoun Hills Golf Complex, the Sandy Run Fire Department, the Calhoun County Rural Fire District and general county operations.

The county's 2022-2023 fiscal year begins July 1.

• Council unanimously gave third and final reading to changes to the county's animal control ordinance, the procurement code and buildings codes and regulations.

There were no material or substantive changes in any of the amendments, according to county officials.

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