Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Service, Inc. (PEASI) hopes to add 25 to 50 new jobs as a result of expanding its coverage into Greenup County, which encompasses the South Shore area. On Thursday morning, Mike Adkins, Sr., president of PEASI, told the Daily Times the company has been approved by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to receive a Certificate of Need (CON) as the first step toward the eventual goal of providing emergency ambulance service to that area of Kentucky.
“We hope to be able to add additional staff and additional resources to the area,” Mike Adkins, Jr. said. “We’re looking to add probably 25 to 50 new jobs in Scioto County, Greenup County and maybe even some in Boyd County (Kentucky) in the future. We’re real pleased with the results and hopefully it will just add to the resources in the area.”
The positive news came when the Times contacted Mike Adkins, Sr. and Trina Adkins Thursday morning as they were driving through North Carolina.
“We got approved,” Adkins, Sr. said. “As soon as we fill out our application and get our ambulances inspected, we can start operating.”
According to the decision – “The application states a proposed expenditure of $264,390.”
Adkins, Sr. was asked if his company has located a building to operate out of.
“No, not yet,” Adkins, Sr. replied. “We just found out Monday or Tuesday. We will be searching for a building for a station in the South Shore and Greenup County area. We will be accepting applications effective immediately and hope to hire local personnel.”
“We plan on working to find a station for the South Shore area and maybe somewhere else in Greenup County,” Adkins, Jr. said. “We haven’t really picked our location, but hopefully we can get set up relatively soon. We’re not actually ready to start running over there. There’s still a licensing process we have to go through and some other things we have to do to just kind of prepare. But we are laying the groundwork now to work on getting our base here (Portsmouth), our corporate office for expansion into those areas.”
Part of the company’s expansion locally is the soon-to-be new dispatch center.
“We’re hoping to add a few more folks during the day in the dispatch center,” Adkins, Jr. said. “We have 12 or so full time people here during the day. We’re hoping to add a few more people to just take calls and hopefully all of this will just make response times better and help the people that need us the most that are calling for an ambulance.”
The Cabinet said anyone who can show good cause can request in writing a hearing for the purposes of reconsideration of a Cabinet’s decision within 15 days.
“I feel like we have finally closed the gap in pre-hospital care for the citizens of South Shore and Greenup County,” Adkins, Sr. said.
According to the CON notification, the application was considered complete as of Sept. 4, 2014 and a hearing was held on Sept. 26, 2014.
“It’s been a long 2-year process and I am looking forward to working with the other private services and the 911 system,” Adkins, Sr. said. “Greenup County will now have ample services for lifesaving pre-hospital care. As soon as the license is completed we will be available for non emergency and emergency care.”
This is not Portsmouth Ambulance’s first venture across the river.
“We currently serve Lewis and Mason counties,” Adkins, Jr. said. “We’re the primary 911 response for Lewis County and we work with the Lewis County Dispatch Center and every now and then we do get mutual aid calls in Greenup County. Greenup County 911 has helped us out with that and the fire department in South Shore has called us a few times to come over and just help out when there’s something that needs immediate response.”
Adkins, Jr. said most people in this region do not know how many people Portsmouth Ambulance employs.
“We are expanding. We cover most of southeastern Ohio. We’re expanding into the Columbus region,” Adkins, Jr. said. “We’re over 600 employees, around 650 now, so we’re hoping this will be another great year of growth. We can only improve our operations and improve the area, to help give back to our clients.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.