Ambulance Dispute May Be at an End

Ambulance Dispute May Be at an End

There are 1 comment on the WXEF story from Nov 29, 2010, titled Ambulance Dispute May Be at an End. In it, WXEF reports that:

The long-standing dispute over ambulance service in Effingham County may be at an end.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WXEF.

“Argh, Shiver me Timbers”

Since: Sep 08

Bloomsburg, PA

#1 Dec 2, 2010
Ambulance Dispute May Be at an End
Written by Greg Sapp
Monday, 29 November 2010 21:54
The long-standing dispute over ambulance service in Effingham County may be at an end.

The Effingham County Board Monday approved a 27-page ambulance agreement that will lead to a five-year contract between the County and Altamont Ambulance Service. The agreement contains performance provisions for the ambulance service not specified in the prior ambulance ordinance.

Jim Reeves of Health One, another ambulance service that had sought to provide emergency service in the county, said the lawsuit he has had on file against Effingham County for more than a year, will come to an end with approval of the agreement. Reeves, who is a member of the County Board, also said that he will be closing his Effingham County operation and is taking over ambulance service in Salem. Ironically, Terry White of Altamont Ambulance Service formerly provided service to the Salem community.

Reeves also said that he has signed a mutual aid agreement with White that, if Altamont Ambulance needs help in Effingham County, he will provide units to cover the territory here.

Reeves said he is expanding to a third state and employs 85 people serving some 20,000 patients, and said things have gone well from when he started in Effingham County on $5,000 with a two-person operation. He thinks that things have turned out well for residents of the county in that they will have a better ambulance service.

For his part, White said after the vote that his company is already doing "90-95%" of the things called for in the new agreement, aside from "some paperwork". He said he's fine with the agreement because it gives him some security that can lead to improvements in the operation.

Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters said the ambulance agreement contains "teeth" requiring Altamont Ambulance to comply with guidelines regarding response times and types of vehicles and service available.

County Board Chairman Carolyn Willenburg said a committee will be assembled to oversee compliance with the new agreement and said the committee would include county board members, representatives of St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital and others.

Board member David Campbell voted against the agreement, saying he was "disappointed in how we got here". Willenburg and members Don Althoff, Charles Voelker, Karen Luchtefeld voted for the agreement. Reeves and board member Bob Shields, who works part-time for Altamont Ambulance, voted "present".

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