Watauga County Commissioners – Act Now – 24/7 Ambulance

 

 

Protects | Preserves | Informs | Engages | Unites

April 1, 2022

Dear Watauga County Commissioners,

The homeowners and taxpayers ask that you take action to add a 24/7 transport ambulance for Blowing Rock and the Blowing Rock Fire District in your FY23 Budget.

The County’s current system does not meet the “90/9”national standard of providing coverage to 90% of residents within 9 minutes.  The facts are clear. The recent annual report from Watauga Medics clearly documents the deficiency of the system.

The Blowing Rock Town Council requested coverage in a resolution dated March 12, 2022 that also outlines the justification for the request.   See the Resolution below this cover letter.

As you know, the demographics of the County are changing and the need for transport ambulance coverage outside of the current Boone centric system is needed by the residents throughout the County.

Blowing Rock is the second largest concentration of residents and visitors who are underserved by the current system. As our officials elected to serve the entire County, you should immediately adopt a plan to provide coverage to all areas of the County within no less than three years.

The time has come for the County to address this disparity and prioritize the health and safety of all residents throughout the County.  We hope that you will make this need a priority of the Commissioners and your 2022 re-election campaigns.

Sincerely,

Tim Gupton

President

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A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING IMPROVEMENTS TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF AMBULANCE BASE LOCATIONS IN WATAUGA COUNTY

WHEREAS, the Blowing Rock Town Council recognizes the need for additional EMS crews in Watauga County and positioning ambulance bases to better serve all of Watauga County; and

WHEREAS, the northern and southern (Blowing Rock) areas of Watauga County are under-served areas needing an ambulance base location; and

WHEREAS, 49% of emergency medical calls in Watauga County are located outside of the Boone Fire district per the Watauga Medics 2021 Annual Report, and two of the three ambulance bases in Watauga County are located in Boone; and

WHEREAS, based on the 2021 Annual Report all fire districts in Watauga County, with the exception of Boone with a 7:05 minute response time, receive ambulance response times greater than the national 9-minute standard; and

WHEREAS, based on the 2021 Annual Report, the Blowing Rock Fire District had an average response time of 11:27 minutes, which is 4:22 minutes longer than the Boone Fire District, and

WHEREAS, the Blowing Rock Fire District generates approximately 15% of the emergency medical calls in Watauga County, second only to the Boone district call volume; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Blowing Rock and Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue are willing to provide a facility to house an ambulance and crew at nominal cost to Watauga Medics, Inc. or Watauga County; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Town of Blowing Rock Board of Commissioners, again formally requests the Watauga County Board of Commissioners approve the funding necessary to provide a full-time, 24/7 ambulance service to be placed within the Town Limits of Blowing Rock during the fiscal year 2022-2023.

ADOPTED this 8th day of March 2022, by the Town of Blowing Rock, Town Council.

 

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