Hearing set on EMS ordinance

Published 9:48 pm Monday, January 13, 2014

Proposed changes to Beaufort County’s  emergency medical system oversight ordinance will be the subject of a public hearing at the February meeting of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

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

“EMS has changed a lot in 10 years,”Pack told the board at its Jan. 6 meeting. “So, therefore our requirement to provide oversight is both for administrative and medical. The medical is handled through the appointment of the medical director. She runs a peer review and follows specific medical procedures. Other than my office and the county manager, we’ve not had any input to the administrative way, the way things are handled each day dealing with both emergency and nonemergency transports. So, I consider this an update of the existing ordinance, although the reality is it replaces most of the existing one. It provides the oversight the Office of N.C. Medical Services is looking for us to provide for the EMS system,”

Pack said the 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 an 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.

“Basically, what we’re doing is we’re bringing (the county) into full, complete compliance. I’ve already taken the (proposed) ordinance and sent it to the compliance officer with the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services to try to get any input for thngs we may have missed. He said it would make our system fully functional and compliant. What we did was take the four best of all the business ideas of their ordinances and combine them into one that will function for Beaufort County.”

Commissioner Al Klemm said he read the proposed ordinance and considers it a good document. Klemm asked who was involved in drafting the proposed ordinance.

Pack said he consulted with other EMS administrators and took recommendations from them.

“Some of their writing is into it. Some of my writing is into it,” Pack said.

The commissioners’ public-safety committee has reviewed the proposed ordinance, he noted.

The public hearing will be conducted at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 during the board’s meeting.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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