Washington’s EMS services extended to June 2017

Published 7:48 pm Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Washington’s EMS personnel will continue to provide EMS coverage in the city and in the Old Ford and Clark’s Necks fire districts in Beaufort County through June 30, 2017, unless the city and Beaufort County are able to effect the county’s take over of that EMS coverage before or after that date.

That decision came during the City Council’s meeting earlier this week. Councilman Doug Mercer said the proposed July 1, 2017, date for the county to take over the EMS coverage was too “finite.” He proposed adding the phrase “or other such date as approved by the city and county commissioners” to the suggested motion (prepared by city staff) that only included the July 1, 2017, deadline. Adding the additional phrase to the recommended motion gives the city and county more flexibility when it comes to working out issues related to the county taking over EMS coverage in areas now being served by the city, he said.

The council appointed Mercer and Councilman Richard Brooks to an EMS oversight committee working to come to an agreeable conclusion on EMS contract services for the city with the county. The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners appointed members Jerry Langley and Robert Belcher to the committee.

During one of its meetings in March, the City Council initially decided to inform the county is would be responsible as of July 1 of this year for ensuring EMS coverage would be provided in the city and two fire districts. After an April 1 meeting involving city and county officials, city officials agreed to ask the council to consider extending the July 1 deadline.

At the April 1 meeting, Allen Johnson, eastern regional director of the state office of Emergency Medical Services, explained that while the county is responsible for ensuring EMS service is provided, state statute does not require the county to provide that service. Such service can be provided by the county contracting with an EMS provider, the county relying on volunteer EMS providers and other options, Johnson said.

City and county officials have said they want to make sure the transition, if it happens, occurs as smoothly as possible and that existing EMS coverage levels in the city and Old Ford and Clark’s Neck fire districts (currently provided by the city) to not deteriorate when the transition takes place.




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.

email author More by Mike