New ambulance service to beginPublished 9:14am Thursday, July 10, 2014
WINDSOR – If all goes as planned, Bertie County’s Emergency Services Department will begin non-emergency transports beginning on Aug. 1.
That was the word from the county’s EMS Division Chief, Matt Leicester, to the Bertie Board of Commissioners at their regular monthly meeting on Monday.
Leicester, and county Emergency Services Director Mitch Cooper, also used the occasion to introduce the county’s new non-emergency transport coordinator to the board.
Kim Campbell comes to Bertie with 18 years experience in transport, both as an EMT paramedic and as an office manager for Johnston Ambulance Service (JAS), the largest privately held ambulance service in North Carolina. The 40-year old company has locations in a dozen counties throughout eastern and central North Carolina.
“It’s pretty much all I’ve done,” Campbell explained by way of her introduction. “I’ve also been a street medic, as well; a 911 medic and in transport.”
In addition to managing the Wilson office for JAS, the New York native also worked with Wilson County Emergency Services as an EMT paramedic. Campbell, whose duties with the county began July 2, was asked by the board if she was familiar with non-emergency transport from locations such as nursing home and other care facilities.
“As the manager that was part of my job, public relations; working with the facilities: nursing homes, dialysis centers, hospitals, and things that pertain to transport including residences,” Campbell answered. “We did a lot of residence-to-dialysis and to doctor’s appointments.”
“It’s great to have you on board,” said John Trent, speaking on behalf of his fellow commissioners.
“We look forward to working with you,” said commission Chairman J. Wallace Perry.
“Thank you,” she replied with a smile. “I’m very excited to get started.”
Campbell will commute temporarily from her Wilson home until she can find closer accommodations in Bertie County.
Following Campbell’s introduction, and applause from those gathered at the meeting, Leicester updated the board on the rest of the department’s plans for non-emergency transport.
The county will have three ambulances in service primarily for non-emergency transport: two that were purchased from Medex, and the other from the bankruptcy trustee for the now-defunct First Med, the former emergency medical provider that abruptly ended service to the county last year, only two months into a five-year agreement.
“As we stand right now the three primary trucks we’ve set aside for non-emergency transport have all been re-lettered,” Leicester said. “They now have the contact phone numbers as well, so as you’re going down the road that’s going to be there and be seen whenever we go somewhere.”
Leicester said that with the new fiscal year’s budgeting now in place most of the new equipment is in place. Some items, like the soft disposable supplies, he says they hope to begin purchasing within the coming weeks.
“We have interviews scheduled for the rest of this week,” he continued. “We’re going to start getting some folks hired for that; and we should be able to get our ambulances inspected within the next two weeks from the state. We should be pretty set up; we’re still looking very easily at Aug. 1 as our go-date unless something very drastic happens that we don’t foresee. I see no reason that that target should not be easily reachable.”