06/08/05 — Duplin may add ambulances

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Duplin may add ambulances

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 8, 2005 1:45 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Kenansville and Rose Hill may get ambulances by the end of the year if Duplin County's paramedic level service brings in enough money.

Duplin County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to keep track of receipts that come in from emergency medical services for the first six months of fiscal 2005-06. If as much money comes in as emergency service officials expect, commissioners said they will buy the two new ambulances. Kenansville and Rose Hill officials have requested ambulances on several occasions.

County Emergency Medical Services Director Curtis Brock told commissioners in May he had studied realigning rescue districts or hiring a private contractor for Kenansville and Rose Hill. Brock said it would cost $250,000 for the county to add one ambulance station, and that it would cost the same amount of money to hire a private company to provide another.

Duplin currently has six ambulance stations -- in Faison, Pleasant Grove, Warsaw, Chinquapin, Beulaville and Wallace.

A committee formed to make recommendations about the county's rescue services previously told commissioners that eight ambulance sites were needed to effectively provide rescue service to all parts of the county. But the costs associated with adding two sites kept commissioners from following the advice. Commissioner David Fussell said the reason the board didn't add two stations last year was the anticipated $500,000 cost.

"All of us understand it would take eight," Fussell said. "The issue is, can we find the revenues to pay for them?"

Commissioner Larry Howard said the county needs the additional ambulances but that the decision shouldn't be made in the middle of the fiscal year.