Lenoir County pushes for changes in emergency response

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Lenoir County Emergency Management is considering restructuring its services to better serve you.

This comes after questions from Kinston City Council about response times and which trucks are getting to emergencies first. That question has the department considering a different approach.

It’s pretty common throughout the country to have dually-trained staff for fire and EMS, so that if a fire truck arrives on scene first, at least one medic can provide necessary assistance immediately. That’s exactly what Lenoir County is pushing for in Kinston.

Right now, Lenoir County firetrucks typically arrive on scene within 4 minutes, while EMS ambulances take about 7 minutes.

Leaders say whoever gets there first needs to be able to provide maximum care. That’s why they’re suggesting adding a medic to each firetruck.

It would improve care, reduce wait times, and help people’s chances of survival.

“Anytime we can get help to someone quicker, especially if it’s a true life or death situation, the outcome of that patient is going to be a lot better,” said Lenoir County EMS Director Roger Dail.

In order to train these medics, there’s a lot of clinical hours and continuing education required. But Dail says it’s worth the investment.

The ultimate decision on restructuring is up to the Kinston City Council.

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