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City of KM; Gaston Co. partner to provide enhanced EMS service to area residents

On Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, the City of Kings Mountain Fire Department and Gaston County Emergency Services (GEMS) partnered with each other to provide a new Quick Response Vehicle, or QRV, to the Kings Mountain Fire Department.

One thing is for sure... you WILL see this emergency vehicle coming; it is painted a bright, neon green and will be VERY visible, noted one of the folks attending the afternoon press and public meeting.

The new vehicle, according to KMFD Fire Chief Tommy Harmon and Gaston County EMS Chief Mark Lamphiear, will help the two entities "address EMS response times."

According to a media release given out at the 11 a.m. meeting at the KMFD Fire Station, "EMS response times in Kings Mountain and western Gaston County have been a significant issue, most notably to industry on Canterbury Rd., two (2) housing subdivisions, and the I-85/US 74 interchange area."

Chief Harmon spoke and noted he had envisioned a need for an EMS first response by his fire department.

"Chief Lamphiear and I began discussions a while back (September 2019) on the needs and plans for making our vision come about; to make it a reality," said Chief Harmon. Harmon noted the response times in the Gaston County portion of Kings Mountain and the western Gaston County area had "...the longest EMS response time of anywhere in the county."

To that end, Chief Harmon said Gaston County "...facilitated the implementation of the first responder program by providing radios and dispatch services for calls in Gaston County."

He added that KMFD then began "...to respond to all medical emergencies in the Gaston County portion of the city in 2022."

In the department's media release, Chief Harmon also noted the primary reason for locating the new GEMS QRV at the KMFD station (which is just inside Cleveland County) are as follows: "1.) quick access to Canterbury Road industry and the housing developments of Linwood and Northwoods; 2.) quick access to I-85 northbound and the area of Exit 10; and 3.) addressing this area as the next longest EMS response time in Gaston County."

Harmon continued, "Additionally, the City of Kings Mountain welcomes this partnership and will allow GEMS to room-in at no cost."

The two entities both acknowledge they "enjoy a great relationship," with it being noted in the media release that, "KMFD and GEMS have an excellent working partnership."

It is further noted that, "The GEMS QRV is the next step in the expansion and enhancement of services to the residents, visitors, industry, and taxpayers of Gaston County in this area."

Chief Harmon, in referring to the KMFD first responder program, said the new GEMS QRV is, "...the icing on the cake."

Chief Lamphiear thanked everyone for coming out as did Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler, who also thanked

Gaston County Manager, Dr. Kim Eagle and all the Gaston and Cleveland County dignitaries and officials present for the ceremony. Mayor Neisler also praised the men and women of the KMFD and GEMS for what they do to serve others.

Chief Lamphiear also noted the new QRV was "a bridge to the future" for KMFD and Gaston County.

Gaston County Commissioner Bob Hovis noted how "public safety is the number one priority for the county and its residents, adding it is Gaston County's honor to place the new QRV at KMFD to serve the people in the county and the area."

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