Batesburg-Leesville, SC (WLTX) - More people are speaking out about the Batesburg-Leesville rescue squad not being able to be dispatched in Lexington County.
Tuesday night we told you about an EMS department in Batesburg Leesville that was only a minute away from a fatal shooting at the China 1 on Highway 1 Monday but was never dispatched.
Previous Coverage: Paramedic Wants Changes After Shooting
Since it's run by volunteers, we were told by Lexington County officials that the department doesn't meet the requirements set by DHEC.
Blake Shealy tells News19 that he's worked for the Rescue Squad for eight years as a licensed first responder.
He says he's frustrated with not being able to respond to calls inside the county, especially being so close to the shooting Monday night. He is urging Lexington County to look into a new mutual aid agreement with the Batesburg-Leesville rescue squad.
"I wish Lexington County would realize that they need us just as much as we need them. We've been apart of them for over thirty years it's just a shame that we were so close, just over a minute away from it," said Shealy.
"It's just a shame that you couldn't do anything about it. You have to wait there with your hands tied, knowing that there is somebody right around the corner that needs help and you're just stuck."
One resident in the area says, after Monday's shooting, she has 911 response time concerns in Batesburg-Leesville.
"My son has a lot of health problems. If I was to call 911 right now because he can't breath, it's going to take them eighteen minutes to get to me?!? No. That's not cool. At all. At all," said Stephanie Risinger.
"I'd be better getting in my car, driving him to the hospital myself with somebody in my backseat doing CPR."
Again, if you are a resident in Batesburg-Leesville, and want the rescue squad to send help, you will not reach them through 911, but you will have to call them directly.
The number to the Batesburg-Leesville Rescue Squad is 803-532-9915. According to Livingston, operations manager at the rescue squad, there is a paramedic crew on everyday from 8:00am until 6:30pm. She says they are eventually trying to be a 24-hour service.
UPDATE 5/24 2:30pm:
Early Thursday afternoon a DHEC representative contacted News 19 with the following statement:
"Batesburg-Leesville Rescue Squad currently holds a valid EMS Agency License (#104 exp 3\13) issued by the Division of EMS and Trauma. Though licensed by the State of South Carolina, participation in the Lexington County 911 dispatching system is at the discretion of Lexington County Officials."
Jennifer L. Paddock, Director of DHEC's Division of EMS and Trauma