Emerald Isle changes EMS department management

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EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Emerald Isle’s EMS Department will now be run by the town under a new chief.

Since 2001, the EMS Department was run by a nonprofit organization and funded with money from the town.

Now, it will be run as a town department under the supervision of Emerald Isle’s elected officials.

The budget for the department has grown from four thousand dollars in 2001 to almost six hundred thousand dollars last year.

“There’s six hundred thousand dollars of public funds,” said town manager Frank Rush. “And any time it grows to something that complex and that large it’s just better managed by a local government entity.”

Rush said the department will benefit under the supervision of elected officials.

“It’s really no different than our police department,” said Rush, “or our fire department or our public works department. They’re managed by the town of Emerald Isle and ultimately they’re accountable to the elected officials in Emerald Isle.”

The change includes a new chief.

David Jones, current captain of the Pine Knoll Shores Fire and EMS Department, was chosen to run the Emerald Isle EMS Department. He was chosen over the interim chief Clinton Baysden.

Some Emerald Isle residents, like Joan Pate, were upset by the change

“What we had hoped for,” said Pate, “was that clinton could remain in his position. The department really seemed to like him and work well with him. And we wanted that to continue on.”

Mayor Eddie Barber said he trusts the decision that the town and Rush came to.

“We have full confidence in Mr. Rush,” said Barber, “we know he could do an outstanding job in selecting the new chief and we have complete confidence in Frank.”

Jones will officially become chief when the department switches over on March first. Rush said that the town made sure the change took place in March so that it wouldn’t be going on during the busy summer season.

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