Bedbug Infestation Forces Berkeley County EMS to Relocate

August 7, 2018, 5:06 am EST | Share:

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (BILL BURR, WTAT-TV) — A Berkeley County community has concerns about response times for its EMS crew. The first responders were forced to relocate after an infestation at their building in Jamestown.

The gates are padlocked. The doors are secured.

Jamestown EMS Station Medic 6 is abandoned after bed bugs infiltrated the building again.

Scrubbing brushes hang from a fence, and plastic bags filled with trash sit outside.

“It’s not unique just to our station. But the infestation seems to occur here more,” said Douglas Guerry, a councilman for Jamestown. He’s also on the public safety committee.

Guerry says the two-person EMS crew forced out of the bug-infested building are relocated to Moncks Corner. That’s 21 miles away. He’s concerned about response times for emergency calls.

“The shorter the distance for EMS to arrive the better chance our citizens have of surviving whatever has injured them,” Guerry said.

“They’ve already had to replace the duct work in it one time for black mold. And now we got these bed bugs around there and they seem like they just can’t get rid of them,” said David Shuler, chief of the Jamestown Rural Fire Department.

He helped create the town’s first EMS squad in the early 1980’s using the same facility as Medic 6.

The long-time first responder worries his firefighters won’t be able to handle certain 911 calls like the displaced EMS crew.

“We don’t have all the equipment ambulances got so we can only just do minimal things to make them comfortable until an ambulance can get there. Give them oxygen or whatever,” he said. “And it’s just destroying our relationship with the people because we can’t do anything for them.”

That’s why leaders like Chief Shuler want county officials to find a permanent solution to the bedbug debacle.

“The politicians got to give up the money. I don’t care if you raise taxes or whatever. We need help. We need help now,” Shuler said.

Berkeley County officials tell us they’ve used several treatments inside the building to get rid of those bedbugs but to no avail. They say they’re looking at other options.

In the meantime, Chief Shuler wants to see a temporary trailer brought to the property so EMS crews don’t have to travel back and forth to Moncks Corner.

The displaced Jamestown EMS crew is responsible for nearly 7,000 people in that area of Berkeley County.