NAKINA, N.C. (WECT) – Columbus County officials announced Friday that they will provide temporary EMS staffing as Nakina Rescue continues its efforts to resume services.
A news release states that John Ward, the chief of Nakina Fire and Rescue, informed county officials on July 27 that Nakina Rescue would be capable of resuming services within a week.
“As of today’s date, Nakina Rescue remains unable to provide EMS services at the required level of care,” according to the release. “The county will provide for a temporary, 24-hour staffed EMS crew at the Old Dock Fire Department until Nakina Rescue can provide services at the required level of care.”
A county official says Tabor City Emergency Services, Lake Waccamaw Rescue, and Whiteville Rescue will place staff at Old Dock to cover calls from the Nakina district for the time being.
If Nakina Rescue is unable to resume services within 60 days, Columbus County officials said they will look into a permanent alternative for the Nakina EMS District.
The county initially suspended Nakina Rescue, effective June 7, in a letter signed by County Attorney Amanda B. Prince which was provided to WECT.
In that letter, the county cited two issues. First, Nakina Rescue failed to provide Advanced EMT level of care on a routine basis. The second claim was that it failed to submit EMS Care Data to the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services within 24 hours of an incident, as required by the NC Administrative Code.
The June 7 letter states that Nakina Rescue was in material breach of its contract with the county due to the alleged violations and was required to submit a corrective plan to the county within ten days. That plan was submitted and feedback given by the county, according to additional documents provided by the county.
The county’s three options, as outlined in the June 7 letter, were downgrading Nakina Fire and Rescue to EMT level, simultaneously dispatch mutual aid from an adjoining agency at the advanced EMT level or higher, or contracting with another state licensed agency to provide services for the Nakina area.
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