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Preston Denney

The Warren County Ambulance Service is about to get some much-needed help with an agreement reached with STEMS.

At the county’s Safety and Beer Board Committee meeting this month, EMS director Preston Denney gave his monthly report and told the committee the department has made a memorandum with Saint Thomas Emergency Medical Services, or STEMS, to offer emergency medical transportation services in Middle Tennessee.

“Basically what this will be is it will give STEMS, which is an ambulance service through Saint Thomas, authorization to have a truck here at River Park. The state rule is they can send a truck down here to pick every patient they have up, but they cannot come into Warren County until they have a specific patient,” said Denney.

With the agreement, the STEMS unit would be available 24/7 and it would help Warren County EMS, especially with its increased call volume.

“Basically they would be there as an assistance to us. Kindly in doing that, our call volume has gone up, the out of towns are up, I don’t really see a lot of them going down. I think they will continue to increase,” said Denney. “Under this, if you look in the memorandum, they are pretty strictly there to help us. Under this, it specifies what they can do and what they can’t do. Basically it states they won’t run a call unless we are out or we are busy.”

CEO of Saint Thomas River Park Dale Humphrey was at the meeting to give reassurance to the committee about the STEMS service.

“We want y’all to have your exclusivity and keep that intact and protect the service, not compete against it in any way,” said Humphrey. “If you look at the agreement it is really sort of y’all are completely in control and that’s the way we want it. We are here to help and it is not something we are trying to run a profit, it will just help us transport people quickly instead of having that truck coming from Rutherford to pick up Ronnie, it will be here.”

“I think it is a great idea because it is not taking anything away from us. It is there providing help for us,” said Commissioner Gary Prater.

“Especially with the gain in our calls, that will maybe prevent us from adding a sixth truck,” added committee chair Ron Lee.

“Basically it adds a sixth truck for Warren County,” said Denney. “If you look at the memorandum, they also state that their charges will be comparable to what Warren County charges.”

The committee sent this recommendation to the full Warren County Commission, which unanimously approved the measure at its December meeting.