A dead battery on a piece of equipment prompted the state to temporarily revoke a local first responder’s license last week.
An official with the local department said he anticipates the truck will be back in service by the end of this week.
Michael Berg, manager of Regulation and Compliance with the Office of Medical Services for the Virginia Department of Health, said a license on one of the Stuart Volunteer Fire Department’s (SVFD’s) first responder vehicles was taken when an inspector determined the squad did not “meet the minimum equipment requirements” to respond to EMS calls.
The inspection was performed during a spot check. Until the issue is corrected and the license reinstated, the squad is unable to respond to EMS calls, Berg said. He added the squad can continue to respond to fire calls.
“What had happened was we had a dead battery on the suction unit,” Buddy Dollarhite, chief of the SVFD, said.
He noted the department has two trucks that are used to run first-responder calls, including a BLS (Basic Life Support) truck and an ALS truck. The license in question was on the BLS truck, a vehicle that cannot be used to transport patients, he said.
A spot check was conducted on that truck on Thursday, when the department responded to Rite-Aid, after a vehicle allegedly collided with a sign, Dollarhite said.
During the spot check, it was found the battery on the suction unit was dead, he said.
Suction units are used to draw fluid from the body in cases of aspiration, he said. “If someone aspirates, we have to get that out and we have to use a suction unit,” Dollarhite said.
Batteries for the unit had been on a recall list, Dollarhite said.
However, department officials were notified Monday a new battery was being shipped. He expects the new battery to be delivered and installed, he said. The squad then will contact the inspector and the license will be reinstated.
Dollarhite said he expects the installation to be completed and the license reinstated by the end of this week.