EMS Station 3 opens in Sugar Loaf Community
A ribbon cutting was held on Friday, January 3, to celebrate the opening of Alexander County EMS Station #3 in the Sugar Loaf community.
EMS Station #3 is located in the former site of the Sugar Loaf Volunteer Fire Department, adjacent to Sugar Loaf Elementary School. The county is leasing the property from Alexander County Schools for $500 per month.
Doug Gillispie, EMS Director, said the new station was needed to better serve the medical needs of the northern part of Alexander County. When the fire department moved into its new building, the vacancy made room for the EMS station.
“We are excited to have another EMS base here in Alexander County. We have been researching this idea since 2017, and began working to make it a reality in early 2019,” Gillispie stated. “This base will cut 10 minutes off of our response time to a call in the Hwy. 16 North area, which can definitely help us save lives.”
Gillispie said the station will handle calls in areas of Ellendale, Sugar Loaf, Vashti, and Hiddenite.
EMS Station #3 has four bays, a kitchen, two sleeping areas, and a training room. The station will have a 24/7 ambulance and a spare ambulance. These trucks are part of the county’s existing EMS fleet.
The school system will provide a smart board for the training room, which will be used for the Public Safety class that is being offered.
Gillispie expressed his appreciation to Alexander County Commissioners, County Manager Rick French, Alexander County Maintenance, EMS employees, and Alexander County Schools’ Maintenance for their role in making the EMS Station #3 a reality.
Station 3 is a mistake only because they took a truck from Station 1 which actually causes more work for those medics leaving them little time between calls to complete reports or even relax. The intelligent thing would’ve been to add a truck at Station 3 and leave the other trucks at Station 1 lightening the workload and improving morale for all of the employees. They already are the lowest paid around and doing a job that you literally have someone’s life in your hands call after call. Overworking them is not a benefit to the community I don’t care how much faster you get to a call if the medics are all burnt out and exhausted from running none stop then who is it really serving and how safe is it for the community.