Concerns arise in Chocowinity as EMS takes significant hit due to town commissioners proposed fiscal budget

CHOCOWINITY, N.C. (WITN) -Concerns are high in one Eastern Carolina town following the abrupt termination of emergency medical services recently.

Many frustrated residents were in attendance for a budget public hearing Tuesday night, to discuss the proposed budget cuts from Chocowinity town commissioners that would eliminate EMS and reduce EMS staff by five positions.

During the 2023-2024 fiscal year Chocowinity EMS Chief Derrick Myers says they were allotted $1.6 million but in the proposed 2024-2025 budget they could receive $960,000, which is about a $640,000 reduction.

Back in May, Myers says they had to end transportation services due to the town’s proposed budget cuts.

He says they had about 40 total EMS employees around this time a year ago, but now he and town are faced with more tough decisions.

“Through the budget workshop, we were already looking at cutting five positions,” said Derrick Myers, Chocowinity EMS Chief. “Now, with what we have to do it’ll probably be more than five positions at this point.”

“I don’t see where it’s going to work,” said William Albritton, Chocowinity Town Commissioner. “I don’t want to get underneath the county that’s the reason why the town did what it did to bring you underneath the town so it wouldn’t have anything to do with the county.”

The town says county commissioners recently cut $102,000 from the town adding to their overall deficit within the budget.

No decision was made on the proposed budget Tuesday night, as the town will meet again Thursday to continue with discussion.