CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - It didn't long take for Jefferson County's new paid ambulance service to prove its worth.
In its first week, one of the new paramedics riding in a "chase car," a car equipped with medical supplies, was on his way to Charles Town when he heard a call about a man with respiratory distress in Millville.
The paramedic met a volunteer ambulance crew at the scene.
Because they didn't have a paramedic on board, the volunteers could not administer the IV and medication the man needed.
The paramedic in the chase car arrived, provided the treatment and the man was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital, said Ed Smith, a local fire chief who is overseeing the new paid ambulance service.
"It was a real life-or-death situation," said Smith, chief of the Independent Fire Co. in Ranson.
"I think it's going to prove itself real quickly that it is a valuable asset," Smith said of the new service, which went into effect last Sunday.