Johnston County consolidating EMS services, forcing 2 longtime providers out

Johnston County News

FOUR OAKS, N.C. (WNCN) — Two longtime Johnston County EMS providers are being forced out, the county will expand its own EMS services. The Board of Commissioners made the decision during a closed-door meeting Monday.

“This community is my family,” Lisa Langston, the Assistant Chief at Four Oaks EMS said.

November will mark 22 years of service for Langston.

“It hurts, it hurts real deep,” she explained.

April Barbour Matthews is the Chief of that department. It’s a volunteer position.

“This is my other full time job,” Barbour Matthews said.

She’s been a member of Four Oaks EMS for 31 years.

“It’s about a small-town emergency medical services providing community support, and there’s a level we provide that at, that can’t be done in a bigger fashion,” Barbour Matthews said.

But after 50 plus years in operation, Four Oaks EMS is being forced out.

The county Board of Commissioners decided not to renew their current contract, which expires June 30, 2021. 50-210 EMS will also cease operation, they serve the McGee’s Crossroads area.

“For the last 10 or 12 years, Johnston has been working in partnership with many of our contracted EMS agencies to transition to one system,” County Manager Rick Hester said.

Hester said Johnston County EMS will expand its services to those areas. They expect to hire many of those who now work for Four Oaks and 50-210. He said it will not impact response times.

“We’ve all worked on the same response time programs so that will still be very efficient and people will be served,” Hester insisted.

Barbour Matthews admits the plan has been discussed in the past but they didn’t expect commissioners to take action, giving them less than a year to transition.

“To allow our public who’s been some support to us to have had a voice, to be able to express their concerns, or gain information about what this was going to look like or how it was going to be,” she said.

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