By Jessica Farrish
Jan-Care Ambulance will be increasing crews during the upcoming Boy Scout Jamboree, Jan-Care officials announced Wednesday.
Paul Seamann, director of operations for the ambulance company, said that 12 additional ambulances and crew will be operating during the Jamboree, which begins Monday.
The added services will not take away from the number of crews dedicated to serving the community, and community service will continue at a “near normal” level, he added.
Seamann said traffic will be the biggest challenge in keeping medical service to the community up to usual standards.
“We want to make sure not only (the Boy Scouts’) needs are met, but the community’s needs are met,” Seamann said.
He said a dispatch center is established at the Summit, located in Glen Jean in Fayette County.
Jan-Care crews have been involved in extensive joint training with military and Boy Scout emergency crews, he added.
First-aid and water stations are established at strategic locations throughout the grounds. Twenty-two military ambulances will stay inside the compound, while BSA crews will have emergency all-terrain vehicles, or “med-beds,” on the acreage.
Jan-Care ambulance crews will be on the property 24 hours a day, although the number of ambulances will be “cut back” during the night. Estimated time of arrival to local hospitals from The Summit is around 12 minutes, said Seamann.
He added that Raleigh General Hospital officials are adding 20 extra beds in case of any emergency on BSA property, while Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital officials plan to add 15 beds.
Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill will also have an increased number of patient beds during the Jamboree, Seamann added.
“We are six times as prepared, so we should be able to handle six times the transports,” reported Seamann.
Jan-Care, military and BSA crews will be operating under West Virginia protocol in case of emergencies, he reported.
He said the campground — which features a 100,000-square-foot skate park and 50 miles of mountain bike trails — will host 40,000 people during Jamboree.
“This simply becomes another county in West Virginia,” he reported.
An influx of the West Virginia National Guard has also impacted Raleigh County: Around 375 National Guard and other Department of Defense agents are staying at the University of Charleston-Beckley campus now and during Jamboree, UC spokesman Scott Castleman reported Wednesday.
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