Spending $1 million

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

More than 250 people received medical treatment at WEG

COLUMBUS — Polk County has paid out almost $472,000 so far of its grant money to fund emergency services for the World Equestrian Games.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshal Bobby Arledge regarding the grant money. 

Bobby Arledge

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The State of North Carolina granted the county $1 million to help pay for extra emergency personnel and medical services for the games, which took place at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring Sept. 11-23.

The grant money came from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Arledge said so far, the county has paid out $471,472. He said county officials are still working on a few invoices and still have a couple invoices to receive from a few of the fire departments and a couple of hotel bills.

County Manager Marche Pittman asked if any departments will hit the targeted budget.

“We made them all aware we were not funding anything over,” Pittman said.

Arledge said one could hit their budget. All others will be under budget, he said.

“The only one that’s going to come close will be Green Creek (Fire Department),” Arledge said. “They had a lot to worry about; that’s why they really beefed up a little more than some of the other departments did.”

Arledge also explained Atrium Medical leaving prior to the games because they were called out to the east coast to aid with Hurricane Florence.

Arledge said Atrium only pulled out their operating room and what was left at the games were at least four other trailers, all their paramedics, nurses and a couple of doctors.

“During the time they were there they saw over 250 patients,” Arledge said. “They did an excellent job taking care of people.”

Arledge said the medical staff took care of an array of incidents and injuries, ranging from one cardiac arrest to falls and scrapes.

“If you think about it, that was 250 plus people that were not in our emergency room or ambulances,” Pittman said. “That was a big asset to our county.”

Commissioner Ray Gasperson asked about funding leftover and if it will be reimbursed to the county.

Pittman said he is going to look at staff time planning, saying there were three to four employees who served as division leaders they originally were not going to pay.

Pittman and Arledge said they plan to give commissioners a final report on the grant budget at the end of November.