Members of the county Safety Committee are making a third run for a new ambulance. The item has been under consideration twice before and been denied both times.
Safety Committee members included the purchase of a new ambulance in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget for the department. The effort was an attempt to set a precedent of purchasing one ambulance a year to keep the fleet current. Budget and Finance Committee members removed the item due to the department having purchased a new ambulance in 2015.
Safety Committee members were attempting to change the purchasing habits of the county – rather than purchase two ambulances every two years, purchase one ambulance every year.
Hoping to obtain an ambulance after the budget was set, Safety Committee members voted unanimously to designate $110,000 from the department’s ending fund balance for 2015-16 and purchase an ambulance. Budget and Finance Committee members rejected the measure due to it bringing the funds in the department below what the state requires.
In denying the second attempt, Budget and Finance agreed to revisit the need for a new ambulance in January.
“They told me to wait until the first of January so…,” said Safety Committee chair Teddy Boyd on Monday.
On the committee with Boyd are commissioners Carl D. Bouldin, Randy England, Ron Lee and Charles Morgan.
EMS interim director Preston Denney requested the new vehicle specifications include a small refrigerator that can be locked.
“A couple of the medications that we are looking at will have to be refrigerated and they are narcotics. So, they will have to be under lock,” said Denney. “It’s about a 12-inch refrigerator.”
“We need to make sure it’s included in the specs,” said Boyd. “That way, they won’t have trouble with electrical or anything else. We’ll go ahead, if we have a motion on the floor, to proceed with sending this to Budget and Finance about getting a new ambulance. We just had an ambulance trip over to 300,000 miles. If we order one today, it will be June before we get it.”
The measure passed unanimously. If the third attempt is accepted by Budget and Finance, the county can go out for bids.