Work starts on Bixby EMS station

Published 9:52 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

County commissioner Mark Jones knows.

Response time in a medical emergency is important.

“This group of unbelievable men and women have saved my life, and I will be forever thankful,” he said, while looking at members of the Davie EMS staff on hand for the groundbreaking of the county’s newest EMS station last week.

“Response time means something,” Jones said. “This is where the rubber meets the road.”

The new station is being built in the Bixby community, at Cornatzer and Howardtown roads. The EMS units now stationed at the Advance Fire Department will be moved there when the building is completed.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Joseph Ashburn, Davie EMS director. “It will help us provide quicker coverage for Advance, Cornatzer and Fork. We will be able to reach our citizens in a more timely manner.”

Ashburn, who was named to the job in November, said he hopes to continue the EMS excellence in Davie County set by his predecessors, who laid the foundation. Two of them – Dwayne Smith and Johnny Frye – were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony last week.

“If it weren’t for these guys, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” Ashburn said. “I want to continue that legacy.”

The new station is being built with the EMT in mind, and EMTs were consulted in the design, Ashburn said. “This is their home every fourth day,” he said. “They eat here, sleep here, study here.”

County Manager Brian Barnett said he remembers sitting at his desk in Greenville, NC, prior to taking the job here, reading about  Davie EMS.

“What a difference a year makes,” Barnett said. “We’ve come a long way in a year. My No. 1 priority is patient care – that we give top-notch care.”

County Manager Brian Barnett and EMS director Joseph Ashburn help county commissioners ceremonially turn the first spades of dirt. – Photo by Mike Barnhardt

Davie EMS has stations on Dr. Slate Drive in Mocksville (headquarters), on Farmington Road near NC 801, and on US 601 South near Greasy Corner. Barnett said the search is on for land for Station 5, which is likely to be in the western part of Davie County.

County commissioner Brent Shoaf said he has witnessed Davie EMS work for his family; and said  it is much better than a private system, which he witnessed in another state. “This is important. We want you to be successful,” he said to the EMTs.

Commissioner Benita Finney agreed.

“Thanks for enduring temporary homes, and hope you will have a stable home now,” she said. “And I hope we start listening to your voices and give you what you need.”

“We’re thankful for the lives that will be saved by this place,” said Chris Cantrell, Hope Baptist Tabernacle pastor who said a prayer for the facility.