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Growing Pains Hit Clayton EMS

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CLAYTON — Communities around the Triangle are feeling major growing pains. Emergency services are some of the hardest hit. Can you imagine just one ambulance serving 12,000 homes?

The Clayton Area Rescue Squad serves a vital purpose in this community.

They're used to helping people but now they need the help. They're shortstaffed and the 911 calls are pouring in.

The dramatic jump in residential population is creating the problem. Of the many subdivisions going up in the area, for example, at least two of them are planned for 1500 homes or more.

"The number of responses we would normally run in a month's time we may run in two weeks' time now," says Danny Parrish, assistant chief of Clayton Area Rescue.

The squad consists of three paid paramedics and 43 volunteers, but most of them work nights and weekends. Monday through Friday, there are only enough people to run one truck during the day.

"I think we have to fund the essential services first," says Town Manager Steve Biggs.

Biggs says every department is asking for more manpower.

"They've got a very severe need, and I think we need to look at doing anything we can for them," he added.

Councilman James Lipscomb is also a real estate agent. He's seen the tremendous growth in the area and thinks the rescue squad could use the help.

"Considering how large a land area they have, and considering how important their job is, that's something you just expect to be there -- the rescue service," Lipscomb says.

The rescue squad hopes to have another crew member by July.

The last budget increase for the Clayton Area Rescue Squad was 15 years ago.


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