Improvements on the way for EMS substations in Aiken County

map showing Aiken County
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News 12 First at 5 / Thursday, September 23, 2010

WAGENER, S.C. -- With Aiken County being so large, the county has several emergency substations to help with response times. But the town of Wagener says their station needs upgrades, so the county is moving it to a new location.

"They don't get a lot of calls," Wagener Mayor Mike Miller said. "But it seems when they get one or two, they come in threes, as they say."

Mayor Miller says he wants emergency workers to have a better home base facility. For now, a house nearby fits the bill.

"Temporarily it will work fine," Miller said. "It will certainly give them a lot more room. They'll be more comfortable."

He says the emergency truck will park in a lot across the street where it will comfortably fit, unlike its current garage.

But the county isn't just looking for a permanent spot for the Wagener substation. Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian says they're also looking to move stations currently housed in mobile homes.

"All of those are in various states of deterioration as well," Killian said.

Killian says the county is about 1100 square miles and they have eight substations, three are in mobile homes.

"We have money in the sales tax to replace those, if you will, as time and monies allow," he said.

But he says they must figure out which will get an upgrade first to best respond to the county, especially since the corner closest to Lexington County and Saluda County doesn't have a station at all.

"Having substations in strategic locations is important for good response times, so we have to keep all of that in mind," Killian said. "It's a big puzzle that you have to make all of the pieces fit."

But the main puzzle piece is getting a permanent substation for Wagener.

"I think it's a long time coming and well-deserved," Miller said. "Just if we can make progress and find a nice place for them to be comfortable in Wagener."

The mayor says they can move into the new building in less than a month. As for the other places in the mobile homes, the county doesn't have a timetable on when those workers will move into a new home.

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