A transition of rescue services and operations from Garner EMS & Rescue Squad, Inc. (GEMS) to Garner Volunteer Fire-Rescue, Inc. (GVFR) will take place at 8:00 am on Friday, October 1, 2010. This transition will include 3 paid full-time personnel moving from GEMS to become employees of GVFR effective on the above mentioned date.
The Town of Garner will take possession of Squad Vehicle # 881, commonly known as the blue heavy rescue truck, and the equipment included in the loan of that vehicle, as well as the liabilities associated with said property including vehicle insurance and loan payments effective on the aforementioned date.
The Town plans to store the truck at the Town’s Public Works vehicle storage area until Town officials determine how to dispose of the truck. The most likely option for Town Council consideration is to sell the truck to another public agency with a similar need.
“Service delivery should be seamless,” says Garner Volunteer Fire-Rescue Chief Matt Poole. “We are excited to be taking primary responsibility for this much-needed service within the Town Limits. Our staff is fully-trained and equipped and we are looking forward to adding three new members to our highly qualified team of public servants.”
Mayor Ronnie Williams stated, “We are anticipating a smooth transition and Garner citizens will ultimately benefit from the new arrangement. We believe this is leading us to the most efficient and effective solution that serves Town residents.”
Garner EMS & Rescue Squad, Inc. Board of Directors Chair Ralph Smith notes that this move comes three months earlier than the most recent plan for transition of these services. Smith says, “We wish our three departing colleagues all the best in their new role with Garner Fire. The community’s need for reliable and competent rescue and extrication services will be well-managed in the new service delivery arrangement. Our focus now will shift to our medical transport service division and other community services.”
Town officials have noted that all involved parties have been very cooperative, collaborative, and helpful in working through the particulars of this change.
The original transition date for these services was slated for January 1, 2011 in the deliberations and policy-making process of the Town’s FY 10-11 Budget process.