WNC Rescue Crew Ceasing Operations Due To IRS Issues - WSPA.com

WNC Rescue Crew Ceasing Operations Due To IRS Issues

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A Western North Carolina rescue service is ceasing operations effective Friday night. A Western North Carolina rescue service is ceasing operations effective Friday night.
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. - A Western North Carolina rescue service is ceasing operations effective Friday night. They say the IRS seized thousands in assets from their bank account Thursday night without warning and it’s forcing them to close.

"It's a sad day for us,” said Rutherford County Rescue Crew Chief Allen Emory. He said he's forced to lay off his staff.

"Without any warning, the IRS went into our bank accounts last night and took 11 thousand dollars out," said Emory.

It’s money he said that goes toward purchasing gas for ambulances and paying his men. The group aids the County EMS in lower-level calls. They've answered roughly 3000 calls so far this year.

We checked and found out the rescue crew owed the IRS about $30,000 dollars in payroll taxes accumulated since 2012. County documents show they had around $18,000 dollars left to pay.

Emory said that's no secret.

"We've been working on them and paying them down," he explained.  

Last week, the IRS made a move.

"Without any warning, we got a letter that the IRS was levying us. We got that letter last week.

We had until July 7th to appeal it," said Emory.

The rescue laid off 18 people last week to cut costs. Friday, 11 more join them. Now, they are trying to figure just what to do next.

"We have notified the county that we are going to suspend services for ten days. It's not because anybody did anything wrong," said Emory.

We contacted the IRS about this issue. They said they could not comment. Meanwhile, the County is working to pick up the slack, ensuring there is no lapse in services.

“We are going to provide coverage 24/7, as we've always done. We've brought an additional crew in, right now. If we need to step up and add another crew, as call volume dictates, we'll do that," said Rutherford County EMS Operations Manager, Terry Bayner.

Rutherford County gave the Rescue Crew $88,877 thousand dollars for operations in last year’s budget. The same is slated for this year, but the County is requiring the Crew sign a contract. The Crew feels the move is an overstep that would shut them down anyway. The County says the contract is to ensure all medical licensing procedures are uniform across the county.

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Addie Hampton
Addie is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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