Local News

Wayne County Rescue Squads May be Forced to Charge for Service

Posted October 13, 1999

— A call for help inWayne Countycould soon come at a cost. Volunteer emergency crews are no longer getting free medical supplies, and residents could end up paying the price.

Wayne Memorial Hospitalused to give free medical supplies to five volunteer rescue squads, who in turn, provided free service.

The lifesaving supplies are used everyday by the Seven Springs volunteer rescue squad. On October 1, the free supplies stopped.

"I think what we felt was a lot of those weren't coming back with patient records, necessarily. It was an expensive thing to do, and we felt we needed to stop that particular service," says Preston Comeaux of Wayne Memorial Hospital.

This could not have come at a worse time for the squad. Their station was flooded byHurricane Floydand now they have the expense of supplies to contend with.

Capt. Dean Barwick hopes to get more funding from the county, but it is not guaranteed.

"None of the squads wants to have to start charging, but unfortunately that might be the only answer, but not right now," she says.

Hospital officials are working on a possible solution.

"We are asking our hospital council to look at the issue of whether of not it would be permissible for us to in fact sell them these supplies at our cost, so that might lessen the impact on their budgets," says Comeaux.

Barwick says this new expense will in no way jeopardize patient care.

She says the department will continue to buy supplies as long as funds last. After that, she is not sure how her department will pay for supplies.

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