Emergency needs unmet in county

employment and entertainment needs met sufficiently by the various industries throughout the rapidly growing county. Yet, emergency needs in the county remain spotty.

Certain parts of the county at certain times of the day resemble a no-man’s-land as far as emergency response is concerned. The issue is clear following a death that could have been prevented by response from the all-volunteer Southeast Shelby Rescue squad.

Volunteers at the Southeast Shelby Rescue squad work to pay their bills. They donate their personal time to serve the county during its most urgent times of distress. Unfortunately, the number of calls to the rescue center is too great for volunteers to meet at all times.

In 2002, the Southeast Shelby Rescue squad received 1,492 emergency calls. At an average of four per day, some volunteers could make a full-time job out of their service to the rescue center. Except, the rescue work does not pay.

It’s time the county and cities turn their attention to emergency response crews that struggle to meet the county’s needs exclusively with volunteers. We pay staff to police our streets and teach our schools. Emergency care should demand at least as much attention from our city and county leaders