SMITHFIELD – Johnston County Emergency Services says the closing of an ambulance company in Smithfield should not have any impact on non-emergency medical transports in the county.
Samaritan Ambulance began operations in Johnston County in August 2016. They closed on June 20, 2020. A reason for the closure was not announced.
According to Josh Holloman, Deputy Director of Johnston County Emergency Services, Samaritan Ambulance notified the County on June 18th they would close at the end of shift on June 20th.
Two other non-emergency ground transport providers are franchised in Johnston County. They are MedEx Medical Transport and North State Medical Transport.
“When we were notified of the closure of Samaritan Ambulance, we contacted the administration of our other contracted non-emergency transport providers and they assured us that they could cover the call volume,” according to Deputy Director Holloman. “In addition, the administration at Samaritan Ambulance informed us that their call volume had decreased to 2-to-5 calls per day and they were in contact with MedEx Medical Transport to cover those patients.”
“We will continue to assess the system, monitor the data, and discuss our needs with our hospital system to ensure that all non-emergency ambulance transport needs are being met. If we identify a future need, we will work with the EMS Advisory Committee to make the appropriate recommendation of additional non-emergency transport companies to the Board of Commissioners,” Deputy Director Holloman said.
In June, MedEx provided 524 transports and North State Medical provided 80 non-emergency transports for patients in the county. Many are non-emergency transports for nursing home patients to doctors visits, and transports between hospitals.
Vector Aeromedical is also franchised in Johnston County to provide ambulance transport but they are an air operation company based out of the Johnston County Airport. They do not provide ground ambulance transports.
Officials stressed the closure of Samaritan Ambulance should not delay the delivery of service.
The franchised ambulance companies do not respond to emergency 911 calls. Emergency medical calls are handled by Johnston County EMS, Four Oaks EMS and 50-210 EMS in Johnston County.