Brunswick County receives temporary ambulance assistance through statewide FEMA request

09.29.2021

Brunswick County receives temporary ambulance assistance through statewide FEMA request

MEDIA RELEASE

BOLIVIA, N.C. – Brunswick County is one of nine North Carolina counties that received temporary ambulance support this week in connection to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s (NCDPS) recent request to FEMA.

Brunswick County EMS received two Advanced Life Support ambulances and two-person crews, which began service Tuesday. The NCDPS originally issued the request to FEMA due to increasing calls for service across North Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Brunswick County team continues to seek out any opportunities to address emergency response and critical care needs for our communities,” Emergency Services Director Ed Conrow said. “We appreciate our state partners for working with us and our peers to help advocate at the federal level for these important safety resources.”

Despite increasing calls for service, Brunswick County EMS’ monthly emergency response time averages are still meeting the department’s established response goal (less than 12 minutes 90% of the time) even as COVID-19 cases surged over the summer.

However, due to increasing hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients, hospital wait times have increased significantly over the past few months. These increased wait times coupled with other factors like the tourism season can delay an EMS unit’s ability to return to its coverage area(s) while its transport patient waits for a hospital bed.

“While this additional support is invaluable, we also urge our residents to be proactive,” Conrow said. “Getting fully vaccinated for COVID-19, knowing the warning signs for COVID-19 or other health issues, and only calling 9-1-1 when it is a serious emergency can all help to potentially reduce demands on our EMS and hospital partners.”

The temporary ambulances and crews will serve their respective communities for 10 days, after which officials will reassess needs to determine if changes are necessary. Other counties that received temporary ambulance support include: Franklin (2); Graham (2); Guilford (3); Macon (2); Mecklenburg (5); New Hanover (4); Pender (2); and Robeson (3).

Long-Term EMS Planning

Brunswick County is a dynamic EMS system that has ambulances continuously moving to best cover the entire county. While the state’s request is a temporary support, Brunswick County is already in the process to improve EMS coverage for the long term.

The Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of three new ambulances and the addition of four more paramedics in the current fiscal year’s budget to increase 24-hour service coverage. The ambulances are currently in production and are anticipated for delivery later this year.

The Board also approved the purchase of 10 additional LUCAS 3 compression devices this month to include on all frontline ambulances and quick response vehicles. These devices are used to provide consistent and quality chest compressions during a cardiac arrest.

Learn more about Brunswick County EMS at brunswickcountync.gov/ems

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Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, contact the Communications Director at 910.253.2995 or email meagan.kascsak@brunswickcountync.gov