EMS Committee votes to recommend rebid of ambulance contract

A change in ambulance service provider might be on the horizon for Franklin County.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, committee members present voted to recommend the county commission rebid the ambulance contract.

Concerns have continued to circulate and grow in regards to Shoals Ambulance’s service. Shoals Ambulance received the county contract in September 2014 and a renewal September 2015.

EMS Committee Chair Brandon James said the service is not consistently operating the contracted number of ambulances for Franklin County, which threatens the certainty of having an ambulance available when an emergency arises.

Committee members agreed that certain changes need to be made to the contract and bid requirements to ensure an agreement between the county/Russellville/Red Bay and the ambulance service that is acceptable to all parties and guarantees the level of service needed.

The committee will make its recommendation to the Franklin County Commission, which can choose to move forward with the re-bid. Committee members – and county commission members present at the meeting, Rayburn Massey, Jason Miller and Chris Wallace – all indicated a desire to see this situation move forward quickly to rectify problems with ambulance service.

James said it’s been a frustrating situation, to say the least.

“‘Frustrated’ is a very nice word,” James said. “We’re frustrated, as citizens and as the committee. We get the reports; we get all the complaints … And they’re not going to change. They are going to continue to provide us what they’re providing us now. So something has to change.”

James stated Shoals Ambulance owner Bryan Gibson indicated that if the contract were re-bid, Shoals Ambulance would be willing to continue to provide service through the transition – as late as the end of the year.

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