Where it all began...
Prior to 1965, Drums & Warlick Funeral Home provided ambulance services throughout Lincoln County. In 1965, Lincoln County Ambulance Service began operations based out of Lincoln County Life Saving Crew's building on Academy Street in Lincolnton.
In September 1982, Lincoln Medical Center began operating the ambulance service. Based out of the hospital, they were located in a small room beside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until a new facility was completed outside the Emergency Room in 1983. Expansion began in 1986 with the establishment of the east and west bases. This expansion allowed enhanced coverage to the far ends of the county.
In 1998 Lincoln Medical Center relocated the central crews to Boger City in the old Lincolnton City water department building.
On 1 July 1999, Lincoln County established an ambulance service under the Department of Emergency Services. In July 2000, Lincoln County Department of Emergency Medical Services (LCEMS) came into existence.
In September 2000, LCEMS split the central crews locating them in the old Brian Center, Laurel Street and Boger City. In the spring of 2000 expansion of a Quick Response Vehicle (QRV) program added a QRV in the northeastern portion of the county. In the spring of 2004 an additional QRV began operation in the western portion of the county.
On 16 September 2003, LCEMS took possession of the new, state of the art facility located on John Howell Memorial Drive.
On 12 June 2004, LCEMS implemented the present 12 hour shift schedule for all field personnel and discontinued the Fluctuating Work Week Pay Plan.
In 2006 and 2007 Lincoln County went through a complete review and overhaul of the personnel system that included; job descriptions, position analysis and pay. This resulted in the formal creation of an Assistant Supervisor and Field Training Officer position on each shift. On January 1, 2008, the new positions and pay plan were implemented across the county and resulted in a substantial raise for many of our Medics. The new pay plan also implemented an adjustment for longevity for all county employees.
During the summer of 2007, LCEMS expanded coverage with the addition of a 24 hour a day ambulance to cover the northeastern portion of Lincoln County. There was also the approval to have an EMS bay built on to the new Alexis Fire Department substation located on Old Plank Road. This facility will allow for an expansion unit to cover the south eastern portion of Lincoln County.
In October 2007, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved the implementation of a full-time Performance Improvement Coordinator that is responsible for 100% chart review to ensure billing and state and federal documentation requirement compliance.
Fiscal year 2007 also brought about several other additional upgrades to our staffing and coverage needs. The staffing of prime-time units (twelve hours per day) placed an additional ALS ambulance in the central area and one in the Pumpkin Center area. The implementation of an eight hour a day, BLS convalescent transfer unit also assisted in releasing paramedic units from non-emergent transfer calls.
With the problems that plagued Ford ambulance chassis for years, Lincoln County EMS transitioned to the General Motors 3500 chassis in April 2008. A complete replacement of the Ford chassis is expected to be complete in the spring of 2012. The GM ambulance chassis have saved over $10,000 per year in maintenance and service cost.
April 17, 2008, Lincoln County EMS was recognized and designated as a North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services “Model EMS System”. This designation was only the 13th awarded from the 100 counties in North Carolina.