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Johnston County, Princeton at odds over EMS merger

Posted August 20, 2012

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— The Johnston County Board of Commissioners decided Monday afternoon to continue negotiations over a troubled merger of the town of Princeton's volunteer rescue squad with the county's emergency medical services.

The county took over operations of the Princeton Rescue Squad on July 1, but the two sides have never reached an agreement over how to divide the volunteer squad's assets, whether to build a new EMS facility, and if so, where.

Talks recently broke down, and on Friday, the Princeton Rescue Squad sent out a five-page news release detailing negotiations with the county.

Princeton's EMS says it has offered Johnston County use of its equipment and use of its facility, which it shares with the volunteer fire department.

But Princeton EMS wants the county to maintain a new EMS station within Princeton town limits, and it has offered to build a new EMS station at the cost of up to $300,000.

Another point of contention between the two, according to the Princeton Rescue Squad, is that the county wants the volunteer squad's funding to help with operating expenses.

But Princeton EMS wants to use the money, which it says belongs to Princeton, for other community needs.

Whether or not a deal is reached, the contention won't affect EMS service in Princeton, officials said.


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  • Mountain Man Aug 20, 2012

    Princeton EMS's only job was to provide EMS services. The money they received from us tax payers (county money or donations)was to be used for EMS; not for whatever they think is in the best interest of Princeton. $400k is a lot of money for a group of unelected & unaccountable people who belong to a non-profit organization that now does not have the job that the money was raised for. On this issue, I think the elected county board members may have a better understanding of what the money should be used for. They must of had a very good reason for taking over the EMS services in Princeton to begin with. Was it for better oversite of the money or better quality of care for Princeton citizens? Probaly a little of both!

  • Just the facts mam Aug 20, 2012

    Not knowomg the particular details in this situation, in general I favor a combination paid\volunteer staff - both bring assets and disadvantages, but is the best setup for various reasons in my opinion.

  • ripetomatoes Aug 20, 2012

    $436,000=62,285 bbq plates @ $7 each. Princeton EMS was obviously gifted at fundraising and should be allowed to keep their money to spend on whatever they see fit.

  • Fuquay Resident Aug 20, 2012

    The EMS probably had the $400k in the bank for the purpose of purchasing a new vehicle, those things aren't cheap.

  • ripetomatoes Aug 20, 2012

    Why would a volunteer EMS have over $400,000 in the bank in the first place? What was this revenue intended for when it was collected, then not spent?

  • DJ of Clayton Aug 20, 2012

    Organizations may not get better as they get bigger in some cases, but it is next to impossible for a small EMS agency with one, two, or three ambulances to maintain economic viability. And yes, the power struggles are unique and second to none.

  • Relic Aug 20, 2012

    Sooooo....Why wasn't all this hashed out BEFORE Johnston County took over EMS response for Princeton? And if Johnston County is running EMS for Princeton what would be the need for the volunteer Princeton EMS to stay in operation? And why would a volunteer EMS want to keep money that was collected to go toward providing EMS services for "other community needs?" The article fosters more questions than it does information.

  • ncpilot2 Aug 20, 2012

    One responder said, "the days of the small, independent agency are coming to an end." That may be true, but that is sad. I have yet to experience ANY organzation, governmental entity or company that got better when it got bigger.

    While not completely familiar of all the details of this fight, I will say that Johnston County is the most unusual place I have ever lived when it comes to ridiculous displays of power struggles.

  • OneLove Aug 20, 2012

    ripetomatoes = +1

  • Pleasepostmycomments Aug 20, 2012

    Wral is it Princeton or Princeville?

    At the time of my comment, you have Princeville in the first paragraph.