Over the past several years, the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad has been gradually chipping away at response times. Now, after instituting a policy of paying a crew to cover times when volunteers are least available, the squad has cut the time it takes to arrive on the scene of an emergency to just 11.4 minutes.
But squad chairman Ron Lambert isn’t satisfied with that. He wants to get the time down to eight minutes.
"For a county of 84 square miles and one central location, that would be phenomenal," he said.
One piece in achieving that goal, said Lambert, is to cut the amount of time it takes to locate a residence, "and that means a GPS."
A GPS, or global positioning system, is a radio navigation system that allows users to obtain exact location data from satellites and project it on a screen with a map so the user can know exactly where he or she is located at any given time.
But just any GPS won’t do, so the squad is working with the Mathews County Sheriff’s Office to select a Computer Aided Dispatch system that’s compatible with the dispatch center at the sheriff’s office. It will be paid for by the squad with grant funds and money from the insurance-only billing that began last year. Two companies recently demonstrated their systems, and the squad expects to select one of them.