1978 to 2020- EMS Battle – 42 Years in the Making

Dear Blowing Rock Homeowners,

Last week, the Watauga Democrat published an article in their “The Week in the Archives” about Blowing Rock’s struggle in 1978 to provide adequate ambulance transport service.

Oct. 5, 1978
“Blowing Rock Residents Gripe About Ambulance Service” read a headline in the Oct. 5, 1978, Watauga Democrat. “Mayor Hayden Pitts led a delegation of prominent Blowing Rock citizens who attended the county commissioners meeting on Monday to complain about county ambulance service to Blowing Rock,” the article began.

Also, last week the Town Council voted to reaffirm their 2012 resolution asking the County to provide full-time EMS service for Blowing Rock.

I was shocked to learn that this battle goes back 42 years!

As citizens and taxpayers throughout the County from Meat Camp to Deep Gap to Blowing Rock and all areas outside of Boone, we deserve equal service especially for life and death emergency calls.

If the County chooses not to change their EMS policy, the citizens and hopefully the Town Council will have to explore alternative funding solutions to protect our citizens and taxpayers.

We are exploring alternative strategies to bring pressure on the County Commission to address this critical need throughout the County. Blowing Rock and other areas of the County should not have to raise local funding for a service that should be provided by the County per their authority and responsibility delegated from the state. If the County cannot honor their franchise rights, we must challenge their rights to retain the franchise.

We were promised by Chairman Welch that the topic will be included on the agenda of their Winter Retreat. We anticipate that the Town Council will also include the topic on their Winter Retreat. All citizens need to be prepared for these Winter Retreats to advocate for equal EMS service throughout the entire County.

Please share your thoughts.

Tim Gupton

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