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Johnston County Rescue Squads May Merge, Creating Longer Response Time

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JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — Some Johnston County residents have a serious concern that could very well mean the difference between life and death. A neighborhood emergency management service station might move, meaning critical minutes could be lost waiting for help.

Johnston County is considering a plan to combine the two closest rescue squads. Under the proposed plan, Kenly's EMS squad would merge with Micro's EMS squad and move about five miles south, potentially adding five minutes more to their response time.

"If we are put 5.2 miles away, we will be running 20-something miles at some of our calls. That's too much," Capt. Rondy Ward of the Kenly EMS squad said.

Johnston County officials said they are forced to look at the plan due to a money shortage, but they said they are not looking to endanger the county's residents.

"Our volunteers in Johnston County with fire and rescue do a wonderful job and the commissioners would not want to do anything to affect anybody's response time," Johnston County Manger Rick Hester said. "It is just a matter of looking at the resources that we have and what is a way to make it work for everybody."

Kenly rescue workers are asking citizens to voice their opinions about the possible change in Monday night's city council meeting.


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