A combination of increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and low staffing levels has led to emergency response times well above national standards, said Rafael Baptista, the county’s director of performance management, in an Oct. 19 briefing to the board.
At the recommendation of the Buncombe County Republican Party, the board is scheduled to appoint Anthony Penland to fill the District 2 vacancy left by the late Commissioner Mike Fryar during its regular meeting. Penland will face Democrat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in November’s general election.
After approving the franchise in a split vote during their meeting on March 5, county commissioners will vote on contract terms to allow private ambulance provider Medic to respond to emergency calls when one of the company’s units is closest to an incident. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, March 19.