Lack of volunteers forces local EMS service to shut down by June 30th

WALSTONSBURG, N.C. (WNCT) – A lack of volunteers is forcing a Greene County EMS service to stop operating.

Walstonburg Rural Fire Association says the truck will stop running on June 30th.

“It’s really going to hurt us,” said community member Janice Holloman.

Every second counts when responding to emergencies.

“I’m 72, my husband is 76 and he’s sick. If we need help we have to wait for someone from Snow Hill,” Holloman explained. She and her husband are just two Greene County residents frustrated. When the Walstonburg EMS service shuts down, the closest service is over 10 miles away. “I just hate it; I hate it for the people. We have a lot of people here that are heart patients.”

She even fought to keep the service open over the years and raised over a $500,000.  It wasn’t enough to keep the truck due to the lack of volunteers.

“They just don’t have time to take the training and respond to all of the calls or anything,” Fire Chief Don Holloman said, adding that volunteers now work full-time jobs and can’t keep up with the demand. “When you get a new person in and you tell them all the training it takes it gets to be certified to run the calls, you never see them again.”

Volunteers are required to take around 40 hours of continuing education just to keep up their certification and keep their name on the roster.

Holloman explained, “They would drop what they were doing to run to calls and now they have to work out of town and taking more time with their families.”

Janice hopes when the next emergency strikes, someone can get there before it’s too late.

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