Federal government sending ambulances, crews to alleviate critical strain on Wake County EMS

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Friday, October 8, 2021
More ambulances, crews sent to help Wake County EMS
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Help is on the way for overwhelmed EMS crews in Wake County.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Help is on the way for overwhelmed EMS crews in Wake County.

Wake County EMS told ABC11 it is seeing a historic number of 911 calls. In May, June and July, Wake County EMS ran more than 10,000 calls.

First responders said the most common calls tend to center around mental health and drug overdoses.

The group's assistant chief told ABC11 last month that for a few minutes every day, there are no EMS crews available to dispatch to emergency calls.

Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency is stepping in to help.

The federal organization is sending four ambulances, fully staffed with crews, to help Wake County EMS alleviate the critical strain on first responders.

Wake County EMS said it also has 25 new recruits set to join the ranks soon, but even with those the group expects to still need the help from FEMA.

The agency has already provided 25 ambulances, each with a two-person crew of EMS providers, to other municipalities in North Carolina, including Brunswick, Franklin, Graham, Guilford, Macon, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Pender and Robeson counties.

"These ambulances and crews will provide necessary relief to our extremely busy EMS systems," North Carolina Emergency Management Director Will Ray said last month. "While it's not the full complement we requested, we know medical resources are extremely limited across the nation right now, and we are grateful for this assistance from our federal partners.