Health and Welfare Committee passes new four-year contract with Carter County Rescue Squad

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Star Correspondent

The Carter County Health and Welfare Committee approved a new four-year contract with the Carter County Rescue Squad on Tuesday.

Committee members unanimously approved a motion to accept the contract as presented by the agency, which is seeking a total of $577,470.21 for emergency medical services and $200,000 for rescue services.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Following the committee’s approval, the contract will head to the Budget Committee for its consideration.

The new contract has the same amount of funding in place each year, according to Carter County Rescue Squad Director Terry Arnold.

Fully staffed now, Arnold said his agency needs an additional station in the west end of Carter County, as well as the remote Poga area. He said at least two trucks are also needed in Roan Mountain.

If the commission does not approve funding, Arnold said the Rescue Squad will not be able to provide its current level of services for the county.

Arnold also informed committee members that due to staffing issues at the intensive care unit at Johnson City Medical Center, some people from Carter County are currently being transported to Bristol Regional Medical Center.

The people of Carter County are being put at risk, committee member Lisa Childress said regarding the recent transport concerns.

Committee member Angie Odom also said county residents are at risk due to a lack of services available in the community. She advised commissioners to be aware of Ballad Health’s plans for Sycamore Shoals Hospital. The health system recently said it was evaluating its services at the hospital.

The Building and Grounds Committee approved a proposed 30-year lease with SkyLine/SkyBest for use of a property in the Little Milligan and Elk Mills area. The company plans to construct a 12-foot- by-12-foot building on the county-owned property to house its equipment.

SkyLine/SkyBest is in the process of bringing fiber optic internet service to the remote section of Carter County.

Law Enforcement Committee members approved a motion to pass a resolution honoring former sheriff and current Constable John Henson for six decades of service to Carter County.