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NC County Seeks to Expand EMS

MORGANTON, NC - The Burke County Board of Commissioners has wrapped up its budget sessions and will vote on Tuesday, but one proposal is still in the works. Burke County Emergency Medical Services Director Randy Price wants to station ambulances in the South Mountains and Lake James areas.

Price said EMS is working on putting together a feasibility plan which will include researching the volume of calls in the areas, response times to those calls, the cost of building stations and the cost of housing an ambulance at already-existing fire departments. "We just don't know the extent of it," Price said. "We don't have a whole lot of information except that that's our desire."

The main factor for placing ambulances in the South Mountains and Lakes James areas is to decrease response times, Price said. Performance statistics are collected throughout the year, Price said. Those evaluations reveal how EMS is responding to emergencies and how the organization can improve on its response.

Currently EMS staffs seven ambulances on a daily basis, Price said. It is possible EMS may purchase additional ambulances depending on where and when the ambulances are stationed. There are EMS stations in Morganton, Rutherford College, Glen Alpine, Hildebran and Jonas Ridge.

Price said he hopes to establish a presence in the South Mountains or Lake James areas, instead of just housing ambulances at local fire departments. The feasibility report should be completed in the next few weeks, Price said.

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