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Wake County to discuss Garner EMS take over

Posted March 30, 2010

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— The Wake County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hear recommendations to acquire Garner EMS next month.

The agency, which functions as a nonprofit and is overseen by an independent board of directors, has seen a shortfall in donations.

Garner EMS operates three full-time ambulances, at an annual cost of about $1.2 million. During the first two months of 2010, the agency responded to more than 1,000 calls.

“Our expenses have exceeded the revenue over this past six to eight months,” Garner EMS Chief Bill Frederick said.

The board of directors of the Garner EMS recently went over the group’s finances and members said it appears take over by county is imminent.

“They have done the numbers and have determined that they can, in fact, do it less expensive than what we're providing,” said Phillip Penny, chairman of the Garner EMS board of directors. “It certainly didn't come out the way we had hoped it would come out."

Until a decision is researched regarding the agency's future, officials are telling Garner residents not to be concerned.

“No matter what happens, patient care is not going to suffer. We have plans in place for which we could assume care in 12 hours, or in two months, or however we need to do it,” said Dr. Brent Myers, director of Wake County EMS. "We can make sure when a citizen calls 911, they get the service that they need."

County commissioners must approve the transfer of the EMS unit. Garner will still operate its rescue squad and patient transport.

Full-time employees were apparently told they would keep their jobs if the transfer goes through. Part-time employees do not yet know what will become of their jobs.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Garnerwolf1 Mar 30, 2010

    webguy: Huh?! What are you smoking this fine day?

  • SME2 Mar 30, 2010

    Who cares? As long as EMS comes when you call 911 does it matter if it is Garner or Wake? are you going to refuse service if it is one or the other?

  • SomeRandomGuy Mar 30, 2010

    "In Wake, except for Garner, I believe, rescue is done by fire departments."

    I have mentioned this before, but our fire department very recently added rescue to their name and services. This is a duplication of effort and not necessary. Garner EMS&Rescue and Garner Fire&Rescue need to get together and figure out WHO is really going to provide rescue services.

  • SomeRandomGuy Mar 30, 2010

    ncwebguy-what exactly are you babbling on about?
    Garner residents are NOT the only ones allowed to attend school in Garner. This is evidenced by 70+% F&R lunch population in the schools here. We are the "dumping ground" for most of the F&R in the county. Frankly, we are TIRED of it!
    Our town council has no say over the library, so I am not sure what your point is there.
    Drinkable water? I wonder if we are going to be charged an extra fee for Raleigh tapping into OUR lake to provide water for the rest of the area?
    For EMS, if all the Garner units are tied up on other calls, Wake County has to cover the area anyway.

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Mar 30, 2010

    chfdcpt.....25% last year. YOU?

  • ncwebguy Mar 30, 2010

    That giant sucking sound is Raleigh and the rest of Wake County's tax dollars being funneled to Garner.

    We should pay for their schools that only allow Garner residents should be allowed to attend.

    We should pay for their library and/or cut hours at other libraries because their GOP town council and Clayton/Johnston County refuses to.

    We have to provide drinkable water because they can't be bothered.

    And now we have to foot the bill for this.

    Unfortunately we'll never stop paying their way, and Garner will never stop complaining.

  • RonnieR Mar 30, 2010

    ambergail1, used to be a Rescue Squad rescued and treated. Nowadays, it is divided, EMS does all but very initial treatment and rescue gets to the victim, extricates, if necessary, and whatever else otherwise makes the victim available to EMS. In Wake, except for Garner, I believe, rescue is done by fire departments.

  • chfdcpt Mar 30, 2010

    nccarguy, are you willing to take a cut in pay so your employer stays in business?

  • abcdefg Mar 30, 2010

    Hey guys. FIrst off Wake Gov and Garner EMS are not the same.

    Second, although We ran 1000 calls. A lot of them are EMS abusers. People who call for non emergencies who just want a taxi to the hospital and no wait in the ER. These people don't have insurance or money so they don't pay. EMS does not turn anybody down. So we loose money when people don't pay their Bills.

    Garner EMS runs a lot of calls in lower income Raleigh. Southeast Raleigh, and what not. So we don't get paid for a majority of the calls we run.

    There is no one to blame on this. It's just a sad situation. Management has done the best they can with what they have.

    EMS employees are overworked, underpaid

  • FromClayton Mar 30, 2010

    Garner will still operate its rescue squad and patient transport.
    what is the difference between EMS and rescue squad? I always thought they were the same thing. :-/