East Haywood to get public safety center

An ambulance garage and substation for deputies is being constructed in the Canton area, allowing for faster delivery of medical and law enforcement response in the eastern part of Haywood County.

It will have showers and bunks for ambulance crews and bays for two ambulances, plus offices for law enforcement.

The new EMS and law enforcement hub will be housed alongside a new urgent care center being built by MedWest-Haywood. Construction started this summer off Interstate 40 at exit 31 near Sagebrush.

MedWest-Haywood is building the facility in conjunction with the new urgent care center and will lease the space to the county. The county will make no lease payments for the first three years. After that, it will cost the county $1,500 a month. County Attorney Chip Killian said it was a good deal for the county.

Currently, a county EMS crew and a single abulance are stationed at the Canton Fire Department. The EMS workers share the bunk room in the fire house, but the ambulance is kept outside and is exposed to the elements.

The new ambulance substation will also have room to stage a second ambulance. It won’t be staffed, but can be quickly dispatched if a back-up EMS crew gets called in in an emergency, according to County Manager Marty Stamey.

Meanwhile, the substation for deputies will give officers somewhere to pop in and do paperwork while on patrol or serving warrants, and provide space to interview victims and suspects without bringing them back to the main sheriff’s office in Waynesville, which is 15 minutes away.

The time savings will allow deputies to be more responsive and increase their presence in the Canton and Beaverdam area, according to Stamey.

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