Thomas County EMTs to Get New Facility

County officials have approved a new EMS center to replace the old center. EMTs say the building is old and there's improper insulation, plumbing problems and no extra space. These are only a few of the issues they won't have to deal with much longer.

An EMS worker has an important responsibility to save lives, but EMTs in Thomasville say where they're stationed makes that job difficult.

Built in 1974, this EMS center is the first one county officials built after their EMS system was founded. Other than small repairs here and there, it's all original.

"It's become antiquated. It's not insulated properly, it has plumbing problems, it's very expensive to heat and cool, we have inadequate sleeping facilities," says Melburn B. Kelley, Thomas County EMS Director.

County officials say they'll use the last of a $6 million EMS sales tax project to pay for a new center to give more comfort to EMTs and provide better protection to the public.

When this center was built in the early 70's, there was room for only two modern-day ambulances. The new facility will have room for three ambulances, two fire trucks and an extrication vehicle.

EMTs hope to finish the new center by the end of 2004. The new center is expected to cost between $500,000 and $750,000. County officials say they'll tear down the old center and the old city fire station next to it, and build a new combined center on the old site.