Pitt Co. EMS adding paramedics after Ayden EMS squad is not renewing as contractor for county

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -An emergency medical services squad has decided not to renew their contract with a county here in the east due to staffing challenges.

The current EMS duties in Ayden will soon be added onto the plate of the Pitt County EMS squad as the town is no longer looking to be a contractor for the county.

“They let us that they didn’t want to renew their contract,” said Pitt County EMS Director, Randy Gentry.

Ayden’s EMS squad was once a volunteer organization that became a paid contractor for Pitt County EMS years ago.

The town’s part-time staff receives some of the county’s EMS tax revenue, but Gentry says staffing has been a struggle for the town’s EMS squad as the chief recently sent the county a letter saying they don’t want to renew their contract.

“Finding the workers to complete the staff, and schedules is getting harder,” Gentry said. “That was one of the reasons.”

Gentry went before the county Board of Commissioners to request eight additional paramedic positions on the county’s EMS staff Monday night, in order to fill the void in Ayden.

The board unanimously voted to approve the request. Gentry believes the change will be a smooth process.

“Citizens may not even notice there’s a difference because a lot of the same people that’ve worked for EMS in Ayden, work for Pitt County EMS,” Gentry said. “It’ll be a seamless transition.”

Gentry says the county will now begin advertising for the eight paramedic positions.

He says he hopes to have those new team members trained and ready to go by July 1st when the county’s contract with Ayden ends.

Gentry says the additional positions are estimated to cost around $84,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30th.