Future of Orange County EMS in Limbo

Posted: Updated:

The Orange County Rescue Squad's future is in limbo Friday. The county's board of supervisors says the agency is no longer fit to provide emergency services.

The board of supervisors says the squad no longer meets the state laws that allow the agency to pick up and respond to 911 calls. Rescue squad members say they're frustrated because this has been an issue they've been trying to fix for months.

The volunteer group claims they had a written agreement with the county to get the certifications needed to start responding to 911 calls.

The board of supervisors says they started background checks and found one member couldn't pass a criminal background test and an additional member didn't own a drivers license.

Supervisors claim the group hasn't answered an emergency service call in at least twelve months and that the group needs to be dissolved for the time being.

"We probably should've done this sooner. But we were hopeful that things would work out and we could move forward but at this point we need to provide the best services we can," said Jim Crozier of the Board of Supervisors. 

In addition to those background checks, one previous member James Eskridge, is facing 46 charges.

Court documents say those are from stealing equipment and cashing more than $80,000 of checks from the agency.

The board of supervisors says emergency services for the county will not change because the county departments are still fully functioning. There will be a public hearing on the ordinance to dissolve the squad on March 28.

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