Moore County Commissioner Otis Ritter announced at the board of commissioners meeting on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2022. A native of Robbins, he was appointed to the board in 2013, winning reelection in 2014 and 2018. He is currently the longest-serving member of the commissioners.
Ritter currently serves on the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Fire Commission, the Sandhills Center Area Board, the Nursing and Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee, and the Utilities Task Force.
Ritter stated, “My health won’t let me do it, and my wife won’t let me do it.” He thanked the staff and commissioners for their support. “You have been good friends. Thank you for your patience.”
Ritter represents District 3, which is primarily northern Moore County. District 1 commissioner Catherine Graham is also not running for reelection. District 5 commissioner Jerry Daeke has not announced if he is running for reelection yet.
In other meeting business, the board approved $243,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance. Due to international shortages, a chassis would not be available until 2022. This unit was designated for another county, but they did not take delivery. The unit cost is $20,000 more than the original budget amount. One advantage is this ambulance is designed to work as a bariatric truck for large patients, according to Public Safety Director Bryan Phillips.
Last year approximately 125 people experienced a cardiac event in Moore County. It has been found that early intervention by a bystander providing CPR or first responder providing defibration within the first two minutes of a cardiac arrest results in a much higher survival. If treatment is rendered immediately, the survival rate is 59 percent. Intervention within 10 minutes falls to 13 percent.
Phillips introduced to the commissioners a contract between Duke University and Moore County EMS for Moore County to participate in a seven-year study. RACE-CARS is a real-world cluster-randomized trial designed to evaluate a multifaceted community and health systems intervention to improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest outcomes.
RACE-CARS will enroll 50 counties in North Carolina that are estimated to have a total of approximately 20,000 patients with cardiac arrest over a four-year intervention period. County “clusters” will be randomized in a 1: 1 ratio to intervention versus usual care. The trial duration is seven years, including a six-month startup (including recruitment and randomization) period, a 12-month intervention training phase, a four-year intervention period, a 12-month follow-up to assess the quality of life in survivors of OHCA, and a six-month closeout and data analysis period.
Moore County could be reimbursed up to $18,000 per year. Phillips stressed that only patients who volunteered for the study would be included.
The next commissioner’s meeting is Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the Courthouse building in Carthage.
Feature photo: Commissioner Otis Ritter, second from right, stands with commissioners Louis Gregory, Frank Quis, Catherin Graham, and Jerry Daeke. He will not run for reelection next year. Courtesy photo.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].