Home Invasion

Abin Lee Lowman

Arrests Made In Persimmon Hill Home Invasion

  On Wednesday March 8, 2017 at approximately 12:30am armed suspects entered a residence in the Persimmon Hill Golf Course Community.
  During the incident the armed suspects grabbed the two home owners, Danny and Lynda Tidwell, separated them and placed them in different rooms with their hands bound behind their backs.  Both victims suffered some emotional and minor physical injuries, but are doing well at this time.
  The suspects did ransack the residence taking anything that was of value along with the keys to one of the victims’ vehicles.  The vehicle was tracked using the GPS system installed on the vehicle from the manufacture.  The vehicle was recovered in Aiken County along with some of the victims’ personal items.    The Sheriff’s Office was able to identify one suspects,  Abin Lee Lowman of Edgefield County.
  Warrants have been issued for three other suspects in Maryland. One of them is in custody.
  Investigators from Saluda County Sheriff’s Office and SLED are conducting an extensive investigation, review-ing video footage from the surrounding area, interviewing witnesses, and collecting physical evidence.  The Sheriff’s Office will send out updates on the investigation as they become available.
  Lowman is being charged with burglary 1st degree, kidnapping, use of a weapon during a violent crime, armed robbery, imper-sonating the police, and grand larceny.
  The Saluda County Sheriff’s Office asks if anyone has any knowledge or information about this incident to please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (864) 445-2112 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME SC immediately.

EMS Director Jacob Starnes and Assistant Director James Cole hold the plaque, surrounded by staff and county officials. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

Saluda County EMS Wins
Top South Carolina Award

  Saluda County Emergency Medical Service has been named the large EMS System of the Year in South Carolina by the S.C. EMS Network.
  The award was presented Sat., Mar. 11, in Myrtle Beach at the 2017 S.C. Emergency Care Symposium. Accepting the award was County EMS Director Jacob Starnes and Assistant Director James Cole.
  To be eligible for the large system of the year, an ambulance service must answer over 2000 calls during the previous year. That means Saluda County was in competition with the largest counties in the state, including Richland, Greenville, Charleston and Spartanburg.
  Chris Copper of the Midlands Regional EMS Council made the presentation.
  His remarks included:
  The story that you will hear about our large service of the year is, and this is a quote from the chair of the county’s public safety committee, “Nothing less than remarkable” After you hear the story there won’t be any surprises at the end, but that’s okay.
  For many years, the Saluda County Ambulance Service was operated as part of the Saluda Nursing Center, the county owned nursing home. The county provided a modest stipend to operate the service but the equipment was old, response times long, and transport times even longer since the closest hospital is at least 45 minutes away.
  County council made the decision to incorporate the ambulance service as a true county department in 2015. They provided EMS with the resources they needed, and EMS got busy! Since that day, Saluda County EMS has rapidly moved to a position as a state-of-the-art service with strong community support.
  In calendar year 2016 the service has instituted a number of important internal changes.
  •A substation was opened in a distant but heavily populated end of the county where response times were commonly up to 30 minutes.
  •A new fleet of ambulances were delivered on a lease purchase agreement, and the most reliable units of the old fleet were refurbished as dependable spares.
  •New 12 lead EKG units with transmission capability were purchased and put in service. 0 Protocols were upgraded to Critical Care standards with the assistance of their medical director.
  •Contracting with a billing service has improved collections dramatically and made the department very close to self-sufficient, adding no additional expense to the county tax base.
  •QA standards were improved and reviews include hospitals where patients are transported.
  Dispatch protocols have been upgraded and training has been provided to the 911 center. The service now shows an average response time of under 11 minutes overall, and more than 75% of their responses are now under 8 minutes. More and more county residents have increased confidence in their county service which now shows an increase of over 400 calls annually.
  They have been VERY active in their community as well, being present at most community and sporting events. Just in the last year, EMS has provided CPR and AED training to over 150 county employees and law enforcement officers, and an additional 160 county volunteer firefighters. Training has also been provided to churches, teachers, athletic trainers, nurses, over 400 citizens in the county, and for the council on aging with one documented save!
  They also secured a grant to place new AED units in each county fire station, the library, the county courthouse, churches, physician offices, the nursing home and the elderly community center.
  EMS is also now providing first responder training to all interested county fire personnel, and has implemented a firefighter rehab program for active fire scenes.
  Nominations for this award have been submitted from both citizens and from their county council. Needless to say, county residents have responded overwhelmingly to these positive changes. You need to keep in mind, these changes have occurred in the last year! Because of a lot of hard work, it’s a new ballgame in Saluda. . .a WINNING ballgame! It is with great pride that this year’s large service of the year award goes to Saluda County EMS!”
  A celebration breakfast was held Mon., Mar. 13, at the County EMS headquarters at SNC, where Starnes thanked everyone who made the award possible, from county officials to the EMS staff.
  Councilwoman Gwen Shealy, Council Chairman Don Hancock and former Councilman Jacob Schumpert all gave remarks, praising the accomplishments of the EMS.
   As members of Council’s Public Safety Committee Shealy and Schumpert spearheaded the effort to make the EMS a county department.
  Mrs. Shealy said the goal was to put together a winning team, and now they are the best in the state.
  Schumpert said the county had considered taking over EMS for 10-12 years.
  “They provide a great service to our citizens.”
  Starnes said the service has gotten positive feedback from the public. Surveys are sent to individuals who have used the ambulance service. They are asked for their opinions on their experience.
  Of the 300 responses, all have been positive.