Buncombe County will add two quick-response vehicles (QRVs) to its Emergency Services fleet and look to hire 18 new paramedic positions. On Nov. 2, Commissioners approved $360,000 for the new vehicles and plan on using lapsed salary funds for the new positions. The move comes in response to an 18% increase of emergency calls to Buncombe County’s 911 Call Center over the past 12 months, largely due to stress from the COVID-19 pandemic and population growth.
Some of the funding will also be used to add extra equipment to spare ambulances so they can be utilized during times of high-call volume. Of the 18 new positions, there will be 14 full-time and 4 part-time paramedics.