Durham EMS Says It Can't Meet County Needs
Posted May 18, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Emergency Medical Service workers treat medical emergencies, such as heart attacks and accidents, every day, but what would happen if there weren't enough rescuers to help save everyone who need them? The Durham County EMS unit says it simply doesn't have enough workers to meet the needs of the county. problem.
Durham County EMS workers are responding to 2,000 calls each month, and that figure is continually growing as the county itself grows. The county is studying its budget needs and finds that emergency services has asked for 12 more workers.
No call has been left unanswered as yet, but workers say their resources are stretched to the limit, especially at very busy times.
"We always have somebody responding," says EMS worker Kevin Wilson. "We may not be the closest vehicle, simply if two vehicles on one side of town are both tied up, then we're pulling a truck ... our next closest available truck is en route, whether it's one of our trucks that's in the county, or whether it's one of the city trucks."
With 2,000 calls each month, workers are called out about 66 times each day and some of those calls can be very time-consuming as technicians work to save lives.
In Wake County, EMS charges $50 per household, per year for its services.
Those who are not paying members are still entitled to EMS services, but their costs will be higher. In some cases, ambulance service could cost six times as much.
A new subscription covers Wake County residents up until June 30 of next year. All residents should have received a flier and subscription form in the mail.