At Monday’s Board of Supervisor’s work session, County EMS Director Holleye Carpenter said that when the hospital leaves Nassawaddox, the County will need 8 additional EMS staff in order to provide relevant emergency services. According to Carpenter, EMS needs four new staff now, which will bring current services in line with current needs, but they will need four additional staff members to cover the business once RSMH relocates.
Carpenter said EMS needs $86,000 to hire these new EMS staff members which would be enough to cover the four new positions until June. The goal is to bring EMS up to 31 full time EMS staff; this will require an additional $687,000 in next year’s budget( a total of $1,863, 000 in 2017). The budget for EMS services is currently $1,089,000.
Full Time Staff or Volunteers?
With budget concerns looming, and just how the County is going to pay for EMS expansion, whether to continue with a mix of staffed and volunteer services, or using all volunteers in Nassawaddox was discussed. The Board did create a committee to try and find a workable solution. The committee includes Willie Randall, Holleye Carpenter, Supervisors Hogg and Lemond.
Estimates for the new EMS garage are currently well over $500,000. With these estimates clearly too high, the Board noted that they needed much more information, and that they should look for alternatives which could provide the necessary services, but also reduce the overall cost.