Local News

Wake County Town Could Lose 1 of Its 2 Ambulances

Posted March 14, 2007 7:02 p.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2007 8:05 p.m. EDT

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.