CHOCOWINITY, N.C. (WNCT) — The town of Chocowinity is celebrating a new addition. They rolled out a brand new EMS ambulance truck that was obtained in large part to state Rep. Keith Kidwell.

The new truck has been needed for a while, and after 10 years of waiting, EMS Captain Brandon Elks said this will ensure they can continue to serve to town 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“So just to the safety and security of knowing that our patients are going to be safe and the town members don’t have to worry about a truck breaking down or air condition not working for somebody in the back. I think that just means a lot for Chocowinity and Beaufort County as a whole,” said Elks.

Elks said this would not have been possible without the help of Kidwell, who was able to get the station the funding it needed.

“What that means is our budget just does not justify a new truck, it would be years before we could get into a truck,” said Elks.

Kidwell said he actually became aware of how badly a new truck was needed when he had to ride in a Chocowinity ambulance himself.

“And I was like, ‘boy, this thing, the air conditioner doesn’t work. It’s really crowded, things are breaking down. It’s pretty obvious they needed a new truck,” said Kidwell.

Kidwell said he saw this as an opportunity to save taxpayers some money.

“It’s things that the taxpayers need, but we don’t have it in the budget. And that would create a huge tax increase for them to do it. Particularly when we had to COVID money, I saw that as an opportunity to take care of some of that Taxpayer Relief,” said Kidwell.

Chocowinity Mayor James Mobley Jr. said the town is very grateful for the new truck. Elks said they are still getting the truck ready to go, but it will be in full use very soon.