At LCC, ambulance officials arrive at some common ground over Smiths Station response

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by Greg Markley

Political Writer

 

It was not an “emergency” of the sort they are used to, but officials of two ambulance companies were back Tuesday at the Lee County Commission fine-tuning an agreement which will have a keen impact on public safety in the Smiths Station area.

Commissioners took no official action on the issue, but there was a wide-ranging discussion of the agreement originally set to begin Oct. 1. It will delineate exactly how areas within Smiths Station should be served when one ambulance is on a rescue mission and another is needed elsewhere.

The terms of the agreement between East Alabama Emergency Medical Services and Care Ambulance had not been met, argued Daniel Sexton, captain with the Smiths Station Volunteer Fire Department. He said that the sooner details concerning backup coverage are worked out, the better.

“Due to former (East Alabama) EMS director Dan Goslin’s resignation, there was obviously an overwhelming amount of work to be done,” said Bennett Carpenter, interim director of the ambulance service. “There was a delay in getting things done.” Goslin resigned at the end of September.

Carpenter told commissioners that, beginning Thursday, Oct. 11, the agreement would be honored with Care Ambulance, and responsibilities for E-911 response clearly explained between Care and East Alabama EMS. Sexton of Smiths Station FD noted that transferring calls on which ambulance would respond would take approximately 30 seconds.

“I have no doubt that the next few weeks will be a learning curve, that’s for sure,” offered Commission Chairman Bill English. But he said the public would be well-served as East Alabama EMS and Care Ambulance would hold each other accountable. “They’re going to police each other,” he said.

Also on Oct. 9, the LCC heard a positive report from Environmental Services Director Chris Bozeman on the Sept. 8 E-Waste Recycling event.

“The poundage was a lot higher this time than last, there were a lot more TVs,” he pointed out. “The tonnage was up three tons.” More than 9.39 tons of E-waste was collected, along with 1.5 tons of shredded paper. Sponsored by the East Alabama Recycling Partnership, the event also collected donations for the Food Bank of East Alabama.

In other activity, the Lee County Commission:

Awarded the bid of $10,472 per year by Johnson Controls for chiller maintenance at the T.K. Davis Justice Center. The only other bid was $23,737 per year by Trane. County administrator Roger Rendleman reflected that the Trane bid, which was twice that of Johnson Controls, was for “the Cadillac of chillers.”

Heard the first reading of Linda Hilyer for the Lee County Recreation Board. She has served several previous terms on that board as Secretary as well as 17 years as a volunteer in the Beulah Receation organization and the community. Meanwhile, a first reading was held of Dan O. Roberts for Beulah Utilities. The first reading for two appointments to the Lee County Cemetery Preservation Commission for Arthur Jones (reappointment) and Newell Floyd were also heard.

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