Local News

Wake County Town Could Lose 1 of Its 2 Ambulances

Posted March 14, 2007

The town of Rolesville could lose one of its two ambulances to help speed up emergency response time in the rest of Wake County.

"This ambulance is idle (more than) 95 percent of the time," Wake County Emergency Medical Services Director Dr. Brent Myers said. "It's too infrequently utilized for us to sponsor in our current system.”

The county's peer-review committee will recommend to the Wake County Board of Commissioners to take the second ambulance out of service in Rolesville. According to the county, it responds to a call every 2.8 days.

Although they admit the call volume for the second ambulance is low, town leaders say 11,000 people are expected to move to the area within the next five years and that the ambulance will ultimately be needed. They have offered to pay the cost of operating the ambulance themselves over the next five years.

"I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it," Rolesville EMS Chief Tina Camo said.

Myers said the concern is not about money, but about putting the resources where they are needed so that everyone in Wake County gets the same level of service.

To that end, EMS is shifting ambulances to high-volume call areas in northeastern Wake County, but Rolesville doesn't fall into that category.

Wake County commissioners will make the final decision during their budget discussions in the next few months.

During peak times, 37 ambulances are in use in Wake County and respond to about 61,000 calls a year. The goal is to respond at the scene within 12 minutes from the time a 911 call is placed.

24 Comments

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  • kungfubar Apr 8, 2007

    I can see why people don't understand why we are taking an ambulance away from a city. And in the worst case senerios, like cardiac arrests, the one ambulance on scene is not alone. They have the fire department to help them out where ever they are needed, including CPR, lifting, and other basic EMS abilities. Two paramedics and two fire fighters on a scene are more then enough to handle the normal cardiac arrest calls.

    In response to "dont" talking about green paramedics. They are always paired with an expierenced paramedic. One of the main reasons we have so many openings is because we are adding more positions, not just the turnover rate.

  • carealmk Mar 21, 2007

    Being a resident of Rolesville, I find it very hard to believe that the medical director is saying that the 2nd is only called out every 2.8 days. Where is he getting that number from? That truck is out a lot more often that that!! Having a lot of friends in EMS, I can say that the county is horribly under-staffed; they are constantly pulling units from their stations to go sit in another's territory. That includes the Rolesville truck. So what happens if I or my family need an ambulance and our town truck is in Knightdale? Suffer longer because of an incorrect number made up from some mysterious formula by a paper-pusher who make over $80,000 a year and has an office no where close to Rolesville? Yeah, that's fair.... And rumor has it that the other truck to be taken out of use will be parked behind the station. What possible good will this do?

  • klp205 Mar 17, 2007

    I also heard that Rolesville is the fastest or one of the fastest growing towns in North Carolina, so i would think that reasources should be a priority in rolesville, also and again as i said before, the county is not moving this unit(reasource) to another area, they are deleting it. makes no sence to me..but thats politics

  • klp205 Mar 17, 2007

    Dr. Myers said in the interview, that there was need for ambulances in other areas, the problem with that statement is that the county is not moving a resource, it is deleting a resource. Why are they doing this, even when the town said it would foot the bill for the unit. THis unit has been in rolesville for 11 years. why mess with it now??

  • ncflyguy Mar 16, 2007

    I see both sides of this from an emotional level, but from a logical standpoint, you've got to let data drive decisions. How else do you fairly allocate resources in a county this big which has to cost millions to run? Perhaps it's my analytical nature, but I, as someone who lives in the County, am VERY glad that more than emotional, "because it just feels right" decisions aren't deciding when and from where resources come from when when my Mom calls 911.

  • WDW2006 Mar 15, 2007

    Paramedic shortage is not just "Wake County EMS", it's everywhere in the field. Wake County EMS is a very "numbers" driven EMS system - but do the numbers lie? Why have a resourse that SITS more than it runs? But that isn't really the bottom line....having an inside view, I see how many times Wake County EMS responds to Garner or Apex responds to Cary, etc....etc...Wake County is a VERY busy EMS System and there must be some rules in place regarding ambulance placement to keep up with the high volume of calls.

  • Hambone Mar 15, 2007

    Just FYI...31 paramedics leaving in one year is approximately 30% of the work force. I guarantee they filled those positions with folks so new that the ink wasn't even dry on their certification card. Probably weren't able to fill most of them. And yes, like DonT said, no one with the title "chief" in their name will get on a truck to answer the calls.

  • Hambone Mar 15, 2007

    Excellent points DonT. I can remember a time when one vacancy a year was a huge deal at Wake County EMS. People were knocking down the doors to get a job here. In fact..."We've got a stack of applications this high" is what we heard frequently as 100 held his hands about 6" apart. Now, no such luck. The overpaid pencil pushers in the front hall have run the place in the ground and there are no applications to be had. WEMS used to ask for two years experience before they would hire a paramedic. Now, they are recruiting students in class at Wake Tech that have no experience. That's what's taking care of your family folks. No experience and the most progressive protocols in the country. All standing orders and no competence to use them. Turnover turnover turnover...Why can't the county manager see what a huge problem it is? I wish WRAL would do an analysis of Wake EMS and the turnover and waste of money in the front hall. The public would love that. So sad!

  • DonT Mar 15, 2007

    I have to disagree with dragonslayer, Dr. Myers is a small fraction of a large, mean spirited, inept management group who has no clue what the other is doing and can get nothing done. Too busy meeting and traveling so their names are known nationwide. Dr. Myers is purely numbers driven, D*#n the affect it has on the crews or the public. Why do 31 good paramedics leave in one years time? Wake EMS management and Wake Co.'s manager closes their eyes and blames the money and work load. Ask what EMS's Technology Chief or QA Chief does or what they have done in 1.5 yrs! Taxpayers waste to support a top heavy management system who cares less about the ambulances and more about making a name for their selves. I wonder how the public would feel if they knew how often ambulances are taken out of service due to lack of personnel, while NONE of the 16 people with title chief in their name will get on an ambulance to make sure the public is taken care of.

  • PSPro Mar 15, 2007

    I worked EMS for the county that I live in (Hoke Co) which is Firsthealth of the Carolinas. FHOC has always been about the almighty dollar, could be why their trucks have green stripes on them! Anyway they based an ambulance at my Fire Dept. (Puppy Creek), one weekend I worked 48hrs straight, we ran 1 call the second 24, patient refused treatment and transport! But, they still have that truck. FHOC rotates their crews thru the Puppy Creek base, to give them a break. But, they still run their fair share of the calls in Hoke Co. That base is also 2 miles from the City limits of Fayetteville/ Cumberland Co. line. Calls are increasing every month! Last I heard is that there is only 4 ambulances covering all of Hoke Co.

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