Tennova prepares to relocate EMS services to Forrest St. location
Prior to the end of March, Tennova’s Emergency Medical Services will be relocating to its new facility, an 8,000-sq.-ft. building located at 1012 Forrest St., the former location of Family Dollar.
Tennova CEO Reba Celsor says a plan to secure a new facility for EMS has been in the works for roughly 2 years due to the unsound structure of Tennova’s current EMS building.
In 2010, the site was purchased by Pinnacle Ventures, LLC, a local company co-owned by Dyer County Mayor Chris Young.
“Shortly after I bought the property I heard that Tennova was searching for a new building, so I contacted them and made a proposal,” commented Young. “It took a long time to work out the details, but we were finally able to reach an agreement.”
Young outlined considerable modifications made to the property while preparing it for Tennova EMS, including bringing the building up to seismic codes, adding numerous rooms, parking, fencing and remote gate access. Overall, the building’s overhaul has taken approximately 8 months.
Celsor says the decision to lease the property was made, in part, due to Young’s willingness to make necessary improvements to the property.
“Leasing the property instead of finding a site to purchase outright just made good business sense to us,” says Celsor. “It allows us [Tennova] to have more cash on hand for improvements that can be made to the hospital. Our investment in this is right at $100,000, which will be made to upgrade our EMS records system and purchase other necessary items for the facility. We initially looked at a few other properties but they just weren’t the right fit for our needs.”
The 8,000-sq.-ft. facility includes three offices, 8 sleeping quarters, a dispatch room, kitchenette, lounge, parking bay, storage room and 2 ½ bathrooms. Additionally, the facility’s parking lot and fleet is secured by a large chain-linked fence with remote access doors.
“The current EMS facility is about 4,000 sq. ft., so moving to the Forrest Street location will double our size,” Celsor explained.
Celsor says the upcoming relocation of EMS services will in no way impact the rate patients pay for ambulatory services, but will in fact enhance the services offered.
Once the relocation is complete, Tennova plans to tear down the old EMS facility to make room for a larger parking lot to accommodate patients, staff and visitors.
Tennova EMS Director Jerry Ballhagen says the move will come in addition to updated EMS equipment and an in-house dispatcher, which will allow EMS workers to respond to calls more efficiently.
“It is wonderful for Tennova Healthcare [formerly Dyersburg Regional] to have the opportunity to take an established structure like the one we have renovated and refurbish it to what it is today,” says Celsor. “This building will be the new home for all emergency medical service operations in Dyer County. We are pleased to further invest in emergency medical services for our community.
“The location will allow our staff the space they deserve and allow us to better serve our Tennova family and community. Our hospital has owned EMS operations in Dyer County since 1968 and has been in the same building on hospital grounds since then,” added Celsor. “It is past time for a change. Our EMS team works day in and day out to provide compassionate care in emergent situations for our community. They deserve this.”