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Roane County officials hold town hall forum on EMS funding

 One of three Roane County ambulances in operation 24 hours per day under current funding.
One of three Roane County ambulances in operation 24 hours per day under current funding. (WSAZ)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT
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SPENCER, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Weeks after losing funding from Roane General Hospital, Roane County Emergency Management Services joined county officials and residents to figure out how to make up for that loss in a town hall meeting.

Roane County EMS is funded through a decades-old levy that is shared with the county’s six fire departments, patient bills and --until recently -- transport from Roane General Hospital.

Due to the pandemic, the hospital had to cancel its transport, and with it their funding to emergency management. With that loss, Roane County EMS could lose the ability to operate one of its three ambulances, hurting their response capability.

“Whatever we need to do to keep running three tucks in Roane County, that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said county EMS director Jody Ratliff.

Ratliff says EMS would need approximately $385,000 yearly to continue the current services they provide.

Among the ideas that were proposed in the town hall were a fee from an ordinance voted on by the county commission or adjusting the current levy.

County officials have no timetable on when funding will be available for Roane EMS, but say they are working to have it secured as soon as possible.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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