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Putnam County hires new EMS director

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The Putnam County Commission has hired a replacement for its director of Emergency Medical Services.

John Darnell, a 20-year veteran of EMS services in Charleston, will take over for director Cecil Kimble, who will retire at the end of the year. According to commission President Joe Haynes, the board received a number of applications and its members thought the decision to hire Darnell was in the best interest of the county.

"We had some really good candidates, and it wasn't an easy choice," Haynes said. "In the end, we picked the person who has the experience and the know-how to do it. He does basically the same job for the city of Charleston."

Darnell has begun shadowing Kimble and will continue to work alongside him until his retirement.

"I've been showing him around, getting everything working and moving, and he's still here, so, apparently, we've made the right choice," Kimble said.

According to County Clerk Brian Wood, Putnam County 911 is in the process of assigning new addresses to county residents so 911 responders can avoid confusion. Putnam residents will have a year to change documents, including their driver's licenses and voter registration cards, to reflect their new address.

"If they come to us to change their voter registration card, they can go to the DMV and that will help them with another form of ID necessary to get their driver's license changed," Wood said. "The question we're getting is, 'Do we have to come in?' and I hate to tell them that they have to, but they will. Precincts won't change or anything, but it's just a matter of having that new 911 address on there."

Recommended updates will include driver's licenses, car and boat registration, insurance policies, voter registration cards and bank accounts. Residents with questions concerning their address listing can contact the Putnam County 911 Mapping and Addressing Office, at 304-586-5370.

Wood said the County Clerk's Office has received a number of calls recently from property owners who have received letters in the mail offering to procure deeds and other documents for a processing fee of more than $80. He said the clerk's office can provide copies of the same documents for residents for roughly $5, and many residents do not require a copy of their lease if it is already on file at the courthouse.

"In today's age, it's scary to get a notice in the mail about your property deed," Wood said. "Some of them may make the mistake of sending this company money, when they can get the same information through us for a lot less."

According to Wood, the company, Delaware-based Record Transfer Services, makes requests for records through the county and then mails them to people for a higher rate. In many instances, the letters sent by the company have an incorrect date for which the deed was recorded, which can alarm people who believe something is wrong with their deed, he said.

The commission also voted to set the trick-or-treat date for Oct. 31, between 6 and 8 p.m., for all parts of Putnam County outside of city limits. Those living within the limits of a will need to contact city government to determine when trick-or-treat will be held in their town.

Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nuzum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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