Lock Boyce, of the Mayo River District, made the comments during discussion of a motion to ratify a telephone poll that led to the purchase of a new ambulance. He and Jane Scales Fulk, of the Dan River District, both opposed the measure. (See related story)

Supervisors Rickie Fulcher, vice chairman and of the Peters Creek District; Crystal Harris, of the Smith River District and Karl Weiss, of the Blue Ridge District, support the career service and the ambulance purchase.

However, Boyce said the current paid service “is not worth it. It’s too expensive.”

He said the career service has cost the county $300,000 “in just a couple of months. It was supposed to pay for itself” by soft billing (a system of billing users, but not making them pay if they are unable to do so).

Patrick County Emergency Services Coordinator Steve Allen has said from the inception that the service would not generate enough funds to pay for itself. He has said soft billing revenues would help offset expenses.

Boyce said the career service “races to get soft billing (monies) away from the volunteers.”

The system is set up so that whichever agency runs the call can bill for…

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