BURGAW – The North Carolina Office of Emergency Services and North Carolina Emergency Management sent 10 strike teams to Southeast North Carolina today to assist with the large volume of emergency calls.  

 

“We have seen a significant increase in EMS calls,” said Stacey Wright, Division Chief. “Pender EMS & Fire joined with New Hanover, Brunswick, and Robeson counties to request assistance from NCOEMS due to call volumes and extended wait times at the ER.” 

 

Pender County received two strike teams. Today one team was assigned to the west side of Pender County and the other assigned to the east side.  

 

“After just a few hours on assignment, the crews have already responded to five calls,” said Wright.  

 

Pender EMS & Fire have not missed an Emergency Medical Service call, but the extra crews give the Pender EMS crews a chance to breathe.  

 

Division Chief Stacey Wright states that the administration of Pender EMS and Fire are extremely proud of the staff’s dedication since the COVID 19 began. The increase in calls, risk factors, hospital wait time, and long shifts have made it difficult at times but they have remained strong and dedicated to the Citizens.

 

“A lot of our calls are COVID-related,” said Wright. “The hospital has been extremely busy and sometimes our crews wait on average 1.5 hours. That means they are out of the area for a substantial length of time. Having the two extra crews will help us considerably.” 

 

The two strike teams are assigned to Pender County for the next 10 days. If the state’s offices of emergency management and emergency services feel the demand for assistance continues, they have the option of reauthorizing the teams for an additional stay. 

 

The state offices assigned four strike teams New Hanover; Robeson County received three teams, and Brunswick and Pender received two teams each.  

 

“We appreciate the assistance,” said Wright. “It gives our crews a chance to catch their breath.” 

 

For emergency services, dial 911. For questions, call 910-259-0891. 

 

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