The Carolina Trace Volunteer Fire Department will partner with FirstHealth of the Carolinas by providing a home for one of the organization’s four ambulances at its station on N.C. 87 in southern Lee County.

The partnership will begin on Oct. 1 and “mean decreased response times and better patient care in emergency situations,” according to Trace Fire Chief Chris Meyers.

FirstHealth won Lee County’s franchise for EMS in August. Previously, Central Carolina Hospital had provided that service for the county since the late 1990s.

Meyers and the Carolina Trace Fire Department’s Board of Directors reached the agreement with FirstHealth as part of the transition from CCH. The EMS crews stationed at Trace will work 12 hour shifts.

The Carolina Trace Fire Department is staffed by 36 members and responds to approximately 300 calls per year.