Surry adds second ambulance crew

Published 11:34 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

Surry County’s emergency medical services contractor will add a second ambulance crew to cover what Emergency Services Chief Ray Phelps described as “peak” weekday hours.

In 2021, Surry entered into a contract with Emergency Services Solutions Inc. that specified the EMS staffing agency was to provide one two-person crew 24 hours per day, seven days a week, to supplement efforts by the Surry Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Earlier this year, the rescue squad relinquished its state license and disbanded, with county officials blaming a shortage of volunteers for the 59-year-old agency’s demise.

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Surry’s amended contract with ESS specifies the company is to provide a second ambulance crew from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The 2021 two-year contract authorized a cost of $618,240 for the single crew. According to County Administrator Melissa Rollins, the amended contract authorizes an additional $218,400 for the second crew.

Funding for the expense, she said, was already in the county’s adopted 2023-24 budget.

County supervisors approved the amended contract unanimously at their Aug. 3 meeting.