BELHAVEN, BEAUFORT COUNTY -

The clock is ticking for Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven, as it's set to close on July 1.

Vidant Pungo Hospital President Harvey Case sent a letter to John Pack, director of Beaufort County Emergency Management, saying that the hospital will cease operations on July 1 just after midnight.

Town officials said the fight to keep the hospital open isn't over. Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal said in a press release that an advisory board has been put in place to advise the town's next move.

But area residents are worried that they'll be left without a hospital to care for them in case of an emergency.

"I live in Tyrrell County and I live closer to the Hyde County line, and for folks over there, this is the closest hospital we can get to," said Angela Cahoon. "If there's a life or death situation, if you can get someone to a closer hospital, that's the most important thing."

Beaufort County EMS said paramedics have skills and equipment necessary to stabilize a patient should they be suffering from a traumatic event like a heart attack or a stroke.