Work starts on new Paw Paw EMS station

by Kate Shunney

Excavation work at the site of the future Paw Paw EMS station.

Workers demolished the old Bevans house in downtown Paw Paw on Monday, February 17 and excavators were at work last week on the lot behind the Paw Paw Post Office. That parcel of land is the future home of an EMS station for Paw Paw and western Morgan County.

Morgan County EMS, which provides the county’s rescue squad services, purchased the lot and has secured a building permit from the Town of Paw Paw to construct the new station.

Council members approved the permit on December 3, 2019.

According to the building permit application, contractor SEM Enterprises LLC will construct a 106-ft. by 52-ft. emergency services building along Winchester Street at a cost of $645,000.

GHS is the excavating contractor on the job. Foxcraft Homes of Cumberland is the general contractor and builder.

Morgan County EMS director Kevin Duckwall said the station will face Henry W. Miller Blvd./Route 9 and ambulances will pull out onto Winchester Street. The entrance to the station is located across the street from Paw Paw Town Hall.

The single-story station will have two oversized garage bays, and separate bunkrooms, bathrooms and locker rooms for men and women working at the station. There are two people on staff at the Paw Paw station 24 hours per day, said Duckwall. He said that won’t change with the new building.

Duckwall said he expects EMS operations to move into the station by the end of 2020.

Morgan County EMS has provided rescue squad services out of the Paw Paw Fire Company building for the last four years. The rescue squad company leased space in the existing fire station for ambulances and staff.

There was talk of building a western EMS station in Largent instead of in Paw Paw several years ago, but EMS officials said previously that highway permitting were a barrier to moving forward at that site.

Duckwall said the construction plans for the new Paw Paw station can be used again when Morgan County EMS makes a move to build an eastern station in the county. He said there are roughly 600 calls east of Lutman’s Orchard along Route 9, while the central part of the county has roughly 800 calls per year. Morgan County EMS answers 350-400 calls in the Paw Paw area, according to Duckwall.