City, Partnership welcome Pafford to Starkville


Starkville Fire Chief Charles Yarborough, center, cuts a ribbon flanked by representatives from Pafford EMS and the city of Starkville. From left to right, foreground: Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn, Brandon Fire Chief Terry Wages, Pafford Owner and CEO Greg Pafford, Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker, Yarbrough, Ward 3 Alderman David Little, Pafford Starkville Operations Manager Tony Fabela, Pafford Operations Supervisor Jessica Trichel and Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill. (Photo by Charlie Benton, SDN)

By: 
MARY RUMORE
Staff Writer

The city of Starkville officially welcomed its new emergency medical services (EMS) provider with a ribbon cutting and fish fry in the truck bay of Starkville Fire Station One Tuesday.

The city and Greater Starkville Development Partnership held the reception for Pafford EMS, who took over EMS services within the city limits at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The Ruston, Louisiana-based firm will serve Starkville with three advanced life support ambulances based in the city. Pafford will employ 32 people in Starkville in both full-time and part-time positions.

The Starkville Board of Aldermen approved the move to Pafford in May by a 5-2 vote. Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 5 Alderman Patrick Miller voted against.

“This has been a long process,” said Starkville Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough. “It’s been worth it, and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen in the city of Starkville.”

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill called the move to Pafford a “real opportunity” for the city.

“That’s what this is all about,” Spruill said. “This will increase safety and our ability to serve all of our citizens. I’m really delighted that we have this partnership going and I’m looking forward to all of the things that come with it.”

Yarborough said the process of getting Pafford to Starkville began three years ago, not long after he became chief. He said he wanted to do something to have a lasting impact on Starkville, and noticed the quality of Service Pafford was giving in Brandon.

“My hope is that the citizens will give Pafford the opportunity to come in and do what they need to do,” Yarbrough said. “There’s been a lot of misinformation out there. They’re going to have an opportunity over the next four or five months to get everything taken care of and get everything situated, so we’re very excited to have them here.”

Ward 3 Alderman David Little also encouraged citizens to give Pafford a chance, and said he thought it was a good move for Starkville.

“I think it’s going to be a big advancement to the citizens and residents within the city limits as far as services,” Little said. “We had three brand-new vehicles here earlier, and they’re going to be ready and available to go here at midnight.”

Pafford Mississippi Director of Ground Operations Freddie Parker went into further detail about the company’s Starkville operations, and said the company would be able to shorten response time by basing ambulances within the city.

“With the ambulances arriving faster to a 911 scene, we’re increasing the chances that someone survives or has a better outcome from an acute medical event,” Parker said.

All three ambulances are advanced life support units, meaning a paramedic is always on board. Paramedics are able to offer more advanced care and administer more medications than basic emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

“This is going to be a positive situation for the city, working with police and fire, training and first response,” said Pafford CEO and owner Greg Pafford. “We definitely want to improve response times.”

Interim Partnership CEO Jennifer Prather lauded Yarbrough for his role in bringing in the new provider.

"We appreciate Chief Yarbrough's forward thinkingin bringing them to better serve the Starkville-Oktibbeha County Community, and we look forward to their contribution to our city," Prather said.

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