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Johnston County to take over EMS services for three towns

Posted June 25, 2012

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— Johnston County staff will soon take over operations at volunteer EMS stations in Clayton, Smithfield and Princeton, said County Manager Rick Hester.

The county had been using independent contractors to provide EMS service in those towns. 

Hester said county leaders plan to keep workers at all three stations. He said the move will make operations more efficient and that residents shouldn't notice any major changes in services.

"We are going to provide great service in those areas that we have been providing great service," Hester said. "We just look forward to providing that service. It's very important."

Because of the takeover, county leaders approved two new ambulances for the county in the budget passed Monday at the county's Board of Commissioners meeting.

The budget also increases funding to the school system by $3 million over last year and increases the fire tax in six of the county's fire districts from one to three cents.

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  • MECU0905 Jun 27, 2012

    I love that we are talking about government expansion when the service was already offered by other local governmental agencies. A county-wide EMS will help provide more cohesive service to those in my county. Also, EMS services are mandated by state law to be the responsibility of the county and not local city or town government.

  • Tricky Dick is Not A Crook Jun 26, 2012

    @ ncmedic. I certainly understand that. However, this individual is the 1st to claim that there is no need for government involvement. However, it seems that he/she now feels otherwise: "kudos to johnston county on their swiftness and politeness." All of a sudden a government take over is a good thing.

    Why not just let this be a private market issue? If private market feels there is a need to take people in Johnston County to the hospital, then why not let them do it? I'm sure a private company will be knocking down the doors to take the fine folks of Johnston County to the hospital for a price. It seems hypocritical to me to tout that there should be no government anything, but think it is fine for the government to get you to a hospital.

  • ncmedic201 Jun 26, 2012

    Tricky Dick, EMS is not entirely private. Smithfield is actually a government run department, others are partially funded by the county already. EMS is mandated by the state to be a county responsibility. It is up to the county whether they want to contract it out or not.

    1Grenade, the smaller agencies probably already needed new ambulances. Basically instead of X agency buying the new ambulance, the county will. It's not uncommon to need new ambulances.

  • Tricky Dick is Not A Crook Jun 26, 2012

    "I guess if someone wants to call a private ambulance to take them somewhere they will be allowed to do so and not be banned."

    That's not my point, you are applauding a government takeover and expansion. It won't be long till Johnston County is like Wake County.

  • ladyblue Jun 26, 2012

    I thought you were against bigger government? Here we go with government eliminating private industry for a monopoly.

    I also know that ems has been in this area for years and know of no one who has had an issue with them. if they can do it cheaper than private then that's a good thing. i know the times i have used them has been no complaints.

    thought you were against bigger government? Here we go with government eliminating private industry for a monopoly.
    Tricky Dick

    I guess if someone wants to call a private ambulance to take them somewhere they will be allowed to do so and not be banned.

  • DJ of Clayton Jun 26, 2012

    Modern EMS is not self sufficient. In years past it was easy to sell some chicken and BBQ, hold raffles, and the like to support EMS. But there are not enough people left with time to volunteer anymore, and the expectations for paramedics and EMS are higher than they were in the past. Billing revenue is not enough to sustain these small agencies. The ambulance has to be staffed wtih two people no matter how many calls they run. And then you have a lot of patients who do not have insurance nor the ability to pay. As to the ambulances, Johnston County provided ambulances to the agencies several years ago. In the course of service, maybe these two new ones are needed to replace ambulances that are worn out. By the way, the average life for an ambulance is about 3-5 years. They rack up a lot of miles, particularly in a county like Johnston, especially with long transports.

  • marsupial75 Jun 26, 2012

    They bought the two new ambulances because previously, the independent contractors owned the vehicles.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 26, 2012

    "Because of the takeover, county leaders approved two new ambulances for the county in the budget passed Monday at the county's Board of Commissioners meeting."

    So they had to buy two new ambulances at Lord only knows how many $$$ to make this work, but when it was under independent contractors, those two ambulances weren't needed?

    I don't understand the logic behind that, unless the independent contractors weren't performing well or were going broke, and I couldn't see the story said that.

  • Tricky Dick is Not A Crook Jun 26, 2012

    "kudos to johnston county on their swiftness and politeness." -doesanyonecare

    I thought you were against bigger government? Here we go with government eliminating private industry for a monopoly.

  • ladyblue Jun 26, 2012

    johnston county ems is very efficient and i am sure the towns will be happy for their service,.kudos to johnston county on their swiftness and politeness.