EMS asks county for protective gear

Anna Sierra

Anna Sierra

CAMBRIDGE – Members of the Dorchester County Council heard a request Aug. 7 from Jason Trego of the Chiefs’ Committee of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association for protective gear for Emergency Medical Services personnel.

“They have no protection,” Mr. Trego said. “The need is there. We feel they need to be protected.”

He told council members that in some incidents, such as car wrecks, emergency responders enter damaged vehicles and are exposed to harm. He said they were asking for basic protective clothing, not the advanced level that firefighters wear.

The need wasn’t opposed at the meeting, but the cost will require some study.

The clothing is “about $1,500 a set,” Department of Emergency Services Director Anna Sierra said, which would bring the total cost to about $144,000. “Not an insignificant amount,” she added.

Still, the emergency crews weren’t asking for the most expensive – or effective – clothing. “It’s the lowest level of EMS gear protection,” Ms. Sierra said.

Hearing no dissent from the council members, President Ricky Travers (District 3) said, “We’re pretty much in agreement,” but they will have to study available funds before making a commitment.

In other business:

• Cliff Coppersmith, the new president of Chesapeake College, introduced himself to the council and thanked them for their support of the institution. He said one of his main goals will be to work in conjunction with local businesses to improve workforce development.

• Director Jeff Trice of the Eastern Shore Innovation Center (ESIC) said, “We have a new business interested in coming.” The ESIC offers affordable office space to businesses in their developmental stages. Peninsula Alternative Health is now located in Salisbury. “They are a dispensary for medical marijuana,” he said.

• Council members unanimously approved a request from the Department of Public Works to purchase five new, 42” snow plows.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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