Archived Story

Hearing on EMS ordinance set

Published 6:07pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

A revised emergency medical system oversight ordinance will be the subject of a public hearing at the Monday meeting of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The existing ordinance is more than 30 years old, according to John Pack, the county’s emergency management director.

At the board’s Jan. 6 meeting, Pack said the proposed new ordinance allows the president of the county EMS association to represent all of the county’s EMTs in developing policy changes and EMS-related recommendations that come before the commissioners in the future. Pack said the existing ordinance, adopted in 1983, is used for “franchising” EMS providers in the county.

The proposed ordinance creates a nine-member EMS oversight committee. Those nine members included one county commissioner, a medical director, a continuing-education representative from Beaufort County Community College, one Vidant Beaufort Hospital representative, one representative from Beaufort County Emergency Management, one representative from the Beaufort County EMS Association (its president) and three county residents.

Pack told the board the proposed ordinance provides for better oversight of EMS efforts in the county and brings the county into compliance with state law and guidelines concerning EMS functions.

The commissioners are also scheduled to hear County Manager Randell Woodruff discuss amending the county’s contract with White Oak Medical Transport, which provides EMS coverage in the Belhaven-Pantego Township area. With the closing of Vidant Pungo Hospital expected this spring, White Oak likely will be asked to provide more EMS coverage in the Beaufort County areas it now serves.

Last fall after Vidant Health announced its plan to close the Belhaven hospital, Pack discussed how that closing could affect EMS coverage in that part of the county. To provide the EMS coverage needed in the Belhaven area once the hospital there closes, Pack said at the board’s October meeting, the county began negotiating a new contract for such service with White Oak Medical Transport, which currently provides EMS services in that area. That new contract likely would cost the county about another $300,000, Pack said then. For that money, he said, White Oak would be asked to assign a second EMS unit to cover the Belhaven area.

The Board of Commissioners meets at 5 p.m. in the Beaufort County Administrative Building, 121 W. Third St., Washington. To review the entire agenda for the meeting, visit www.co.beaufort.nc.us. At the right side of the page, click on “Agenda” under the heading “Next regular Board of Commissioners meeting.”

 

 

 

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