Johnston County, Princeton at odds over EMS merger
Posted August 20, 2012 1:57 p.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2012 4:38 p.m. EDT
Smithfield, N.C. — 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.