Monday November 01, 2021

Destination: Cabarrus EMS HQ

Cabarrus County celebrated the start of another milestone construction project—a new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) headquarters—with a groundbreaking ceremony on a clear fall day.

The facility will sit on the site that many locals recall as the old Cabarrus County fairgrounds, on the corner of Union Cemetery Road and Cabarrus Avenue in Concord.

Commissioners, EMS officials and construction partners gathered at the construction site for the ceremony, which the public could view live on social media.

Cabarrus County EMS Chief Jimmy Lentz and Deputy Chief of Administration Justin Brines welcomed the live and virtual crowds with background on the need for a new facility and the collaboration that’s made it possible.

“Over the past 42 years, we have added stations throughout the county, and we have grown from 13 employees to over 160,” said Brines. “We have dreamed of the day we would have a facility of our own to manage operations, logistics, training, administration, crew wellness, and future growth all under one roof. Almost three years ago, the process to make that dream reality began.”

Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners Chair Steve Morris applauded the agency’s work to keep up with the demands of unprecedented growth.

“Cabarrus County EMS has exceeded expectations with a level of service that other agencies revere,” said Morris.

Morris also spoke to the challenging terrain that crews are building on. It’s filled with rock and will require some extra effort to prepare for the building foundation.

“For those who don’t know, the ground we’re standing on is solid—rock solid,” said Morris. “We’ve brought our pickaxes and dynamite, symbols of the many hours of planning and forethought that goes into building on this challenging site. But when I think about it, we’ve found a great fit, because Cabarrus County EMS is rock solid and great things will come from this investment.”

Organizers had a little fun with the dilemma. The ceremony included props such as dynamite, pickaxes and detonation boxes, along with a menu of Pop Rocks candy.

The new headquarters will be the first standalone administration building for the agency, which currently operates out of EMS Station 1 on Willowbrook Drive in Concord. The agency currently runs ambulances out of 10 stations, six of which are co-located with local fire agencies and a medical facility.

The new facility will be a hub for EMS staff serving the growing Cabarrus community. It will feature a full EMS station, administrative offices, training facilities, a fitness room and spaces for meetings and other support efforts.

The project is expected to be completed by April 2023.

About Cabarrus County EMS

Known as one of the top EMS agencies in North Carolina, Cabarrus’s award-winning team is a model system that provides advanced paramedic-level care. The system is involved in many areas to improve patient care, such as community education and advanced cardiac/stroke programs. The agency also supports multiple specialty response teams, offering tactical medics, motorsports track medics, HAZMAT medics, ATV medics, ambulance strike teams and bomb squad support.

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