Feud between Fountain Fire, EMS frustrates concerned residents

FOUNTAIN, N.C. (WNCT) – The town of Fountain’s emergency medical services and fire department are still at odds over the building the two organizations are sharing. Their disagreements include operational differences, concerns how space is used and how utility bills are paid.

Since November, Pitt County commissioners have tried to step in to solve the issue, even offering two proposals.

Meanwhile, some residents feel the debate is getting out of hand and their lives could be at risk.

Mini Mart manager Geri Nance said she is concerned the controversy between the EMS and fire department could jeopardize their lives.

“It’s making us worry that we are not going to have a rescue; that we will have to call someone in from another town and then it will take a lot longer to get help here,” Nance said.

Fountain resident Darlene Gaynor said she knows firsthand how important the first responders are.

“It saved my husband’s life a few years ago,” said Gaynor. “He had a massive heart attack, and if we hadn’t had the rescue, he would not be here today.”

Two proposed solutions are unsettling to many residents. The first is a replacement quick response vehicle

“They can give you what you need and you’re OK,” said Rhonda Johnson, who lives in Fountain. “But my mother has aneurisms and if one goes, all that paramedic can do is sit there and hold her hand while she dies until someone shows up to help.”

The second option is a new location for EMS.

Geri Nance said everyone who comes through her doors wants everyone to “settle their issues and get along. Look out for the people.”

Both fire and EMS said they are working to come to a solution sooner rather than later.

EMS Board of Directors President George Bell intends to send a counter offer to the fire department after it turned down the fire’s proposal for relocation

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