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Non-emergency transportation decision on hold in Brunswick County

READ MORE: Non-emergency transportation decision on hold in Brunswick County

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- Brunswick County has decided the business of non-emergency medical transportation will have to wait. County commissioners voted tonight to table the issue of providing extended services through the county's emergency management department until an April meeting. But what does that mean for patients and residents until then?

Commissioners decided that they did not have enough information to vote if they should invest money in non-emergency transportation. Some folks say the county should leave that up to businesses that are already in place.

"It would only make sense that if we can fulfill the need then allow us to do so rather than potentially the government getting involved in business that they don't know the outcomes," said Jerry Lecato with FirstMed EMS.

After the private service provider Amera-Tech decided to no longer offer non-emergency transportation in Brunswick County, the area has been scrambling to fill the hole left by the company's decision. Now, the county has to decide if they would like to get into the business.

"What we would be doing is devoting some resources to doing the more routine medical transportation," Brunswick County Emergency Management Director Anthony Marzano said.

FirstMed EMS is another private provider that is already working in the county. It says if the county gets into the non-emergent transportation business, that could mean trouble for the emergency calls.

"Once you have a patient on board, if it's a non emergent transport be it a routine transport from a nursing home to hospital for a MRI or a CT scan, once that patient's on board, they're on board," said Lecato.

Commissioners decided Monday to table the vote so they could find out more details on the situation. Until a permanent decision is made, Emergency Services will pick up the slack by providing transportation and having employees work overtime.

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