10/10/04 — Warsaw EMS goes on line

View Archive

Warsaw EMS goes on line

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 10, 2004 2:07 AM

WARSAW -- An emergency call came in to Duplin County's first 24-hour paid emergency medical services station around 8 a.m. Friday while the staff was celebrating its grand opening.

The call was to downtown Warsaw.

The Warsaw station, Station One, will function at the basic level until Oct. 19. State officials will inspect the system, service and staff on Thursday, Oct. 14, and on Oct. 19, the county begins providing intermediate-level emergency medical service.

Also on Oct. 14, the state will inspect quick response vehicles that will be driven by EMS Director Curtis Brock, Training Officer Jeremy Hill and the shift supervisors, who start first thing Saturday morning rotating 24 hours. Each QRV is equipped with all of the supplies that are on an ambulance. The only difference is they can't take somebody to the hospital.

On Oct. 18, the county will put the two other trucks on orientation for new employees.

Duplin EMS Director Curtis Brock has hired 16 new paramedics. The county has a total of 19 paramedics on staff now, and seven more intermediate EMTs are in paramedic school.

In the last round of hiring, he gained five paramedics from Wayne County and seven from Lenoir County. Two new paramedics came from Johnston Ambulance Service, one from Wake, one from Onslow, one from Bladen, and a paramedic instructor at James Sprunt Community College has agreed to take a shift.

The first three trucks are manned with paramedics. Each truck has either a paramedic and an intermediate emergency medical technician or a paramedic and a basic EMT.

"They agreed to come help us get the system started," said Brock. "Most of them live in Duplin County and had been driving two hours to operate at their level. But sometimes you can take less pay and save on gas."

He said the county's goal is to be able to provide paramedic level service as soon as possible, and he feels getting Warsaw's station on line is another step toward that goal.

On Oct. 19, Brock plans to start intermediate level service rotations at 7 a.m. with Station One in Warsaw; Station Four, which is Faison; and Station Two, which is Wallace. The QRVs will also go on line. The three districts will have 24-hour intermediate-level coverage.

"The 19th is our big day," said Brock.

"The pressure is on me to get the other three trucks on line as soon as possible," said Brock. The other three are Station Six, Pleasant Grove; Station Five, Beulaville; and Station Three, Chinquapin. "Then, the whole county will be at intermediate level."

The next step will be to get state approval to go to paramedic level service.

"We still have the equipment obstacle," he said. "We need a defibrillator with the built-in pacemaker."

Last week he said he was searching for grants. It as if the county might be able to get the equipment through grants, he said.

"We're aggressively searching other ways to ease the tax burden," he said.