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Wake County to discuss Garner EMS take over

The Wake County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hear recommendations to acquire Garner EMS next month.

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GARNER, N.C. — The Wake County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hear recommendations to acquire Garner EMS next month.

The agency, which functions as a nonprofit and is overseen by an independent board of directors, has seen a shortfall in donations.

Garner EMS operates three full-time ambulances, at an annual cost of about $1.2 million. During the first two months of 2010, the agency responded to more than 1,000 calls.

“Our expenses have exceeded the revenue over this past six to eight months,” Garner EMS Chief Bill Frederick said.

The board of directors of the Garner EMS recently went over the group’s finances and members said it appears take over by county is imminent.

“They have done the numbers and have determined that they can, in fact, do it less expensive than what we're providing,” said Phillip Penny, chairman of the Garner EMS board of directors. “It certainly didn't come out the way we had hoped it would come out."

Until a decision is researched regarding the agency's future, officials are telling Garner residents not to be concerned.

“No matter what happens, patient care is not going to suffer. We have plans in place for which we could assume care in 12 hours, or in two months, or however we need to do it,” said Dr. Brent Myers, director of Wake County EMS. "We can make sure when a citizen calls 911, they get the service that they need."

County commissioners must approve the transfer of the EMS unit. Garner will still operate its rescue squad and patient transport.

Full-time employees were apparently told they would keep their jobs if the transfer goes through. Part-time employees do not yet know what will become of their jobs.

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Gerald Owens, Reporter
Mark Simpson, Photographer
Minnie Bridgers, Web Editor

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