EMS needs $600K to avoid layoffs

By Jon Hawley

The Daily Advance

7 Comments | Leave a Comment

Without about $600,000 in funding from Pasquotank and Camden counties, it will cost “people and ambulances” to close the budget deficit for Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Medical Services, EMS Director Jerry Newell said Wednesday.

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Comments

Employees are the most valuable asset

County management has to start realizing that their employees are the most valuable asset and resource that they have. Every time a shortfall comes up, the first thing thing want to do is cut employees and their pay. THIS STUPID KNEE-JERK REACTION HAS TO STOP!!! Most county employees at the "working level" haven't had raises in years, yet the BOC had no problem increasing the county manager's pay by over $6,000 a year recently to "align his salary with others in his profession". This is bulls**t! Their pay certainly isn't "aligned" with comparable pay for employees doing the same job in the private sectors. With that said, I'm sure the "want" list for EMS can be quickly converted to a realistic "need" list and this, so called gap, can be readily closed. PS- Mr. Griffin, an upgraded, remounted, and refurbished ambulance is very, very, cost effective and cost saving. New ones aren't. Your comment is not surprising though, given that wisdom is not your strong suit. Pasquotank's comment was correct. We do not need to privatize EMS, however, outside accounting of this department would benefit it and the county.

EMS

If we want to keep the excellent service we have in PTank/Camden, then we need to come up with this money. It sounds reasonable to me.

Hard Question

Reduction in pay will only force Paramedic's to leave Pasquotank altogether. Most if not all of them are working two, and in a few cases three jobs now to make ends meet. This includes upper management. How much do you think they are getting paid. A cashier at WalMart is paid more than half of them. That is sad. These people do a job that 95% of us would not touch with a stick. They are caring, giving people, that serve us with no questions asked. Also take a look at what is required for them to keep the $450,000. How long does it take to drive from Albemarle Hospital to South Mills or anywhere north or west of Morgan's Corner? Can you do that in under nine minutes?

Scary!

This article strikes fear in me and needs a solution. My first thought was salary reductions to keep as many employees as possible. Harsh! Yes, but better than layoffs. Some layoffs or furloughs may have to happen if over staffed. The county commissioners will have to find some items in the budget that are less important than life and move those funds to EMS. If Camden is considering pulling out, it will happen sooner than later.

prespective

Before we go off and danm the system, a hard look is necessary. Convential wisdom would say reduction will be the only way to solve the problem. EMS is not a shoe factory. Can cost be trimmed? more than likely, but not to the extent where someone picks up the phone and calls 911 and no one answers. 600K may seem like a lot, until it is a member of your family laying on the floor or trapped in a wreck. Bringing in a private company will not solve the problem as they will charge more, costing our citizens more out of pocket.

Fewer Calls Than Expected

The EMS Director stated there were fewer calls than expected, so some decrease in scheduled personnel is logical. Also someone please review the non-emergency work being done. It is being assumed by the Director that this is profitable and on the surface it appears to be. However this is a tricky business, someone very qualified needs to review the cash flows and accounts receivables to insure that this is correct. This portion of the business would be better served by a private company, not a county government. Overall we could do better with less drama and more analysis of the numbers.

Question

Coming up short by 16%, but must reduce employment by 47%. Had to believe.

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