RICHLANDS, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Richlands EMS Rescue is suspended from responding to medical calls because it is being investigated following a complaint, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

DHHS spokesperson Kevin Howell said the investigation is ongoing, and he couldn't go into details about the specific complaint.

But Onslow County Emergency Services Director Norman Bryson said this is a fairly serious investigation. He learned of the complaint and investigation at the end of June.

Bryson said Richlands EMS Rescue is suspended from responding to medical calls during the investigation but will continue to respond to car crashes or vehicle extrication calls.

There is no word on how long the investigation or suspension from medical calls will last.

"As with any type of investigation, regardless of the issue, the facts and circumstances are going to drive the investigation, and so it'd be inappropriate for me to speculate. This is an ongoing matter," said Howell.

Both Howell and Bryson said Onslow County's EMS response times shouldn't be impacted because the county has EMS crews throughout the area.

Bryson said the Richlands area has nine ambulances running during the day and three at night to cover a 24-hour cycle.