Joint Contract Bid May Shut Down Killen-Center Star Ambulance

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - The battle over which ambulance service will make runs in Lauderdale County and Florence has now expanded to involve the City of Killen.

City and county officials are making another effort to agree on just one service.

However that could mean big changes for the town of Killen, which has used their own ambulance service for several years.

 Killen-Center Star Ambulance Rescue has been the exclusive emergency service to a portion of people in the eastern part of the county for nearly three decades.  However, now the company has been asked to consider a county-wide ambulance bid.

“They`ve already spent 6 months trying to bid a joint contract, and couldn`t come to terms the first round,” said Killen-Center Star Ambulance Chief, Jay Golliver.

The Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director says the City of Killen has the option to opt-in or opt-out of the joint contract.

“The Florence City Council in motion in their work session, said they would like to participate in that contract, but only if it included all of Lauderdale County, including the area in the Killen corporate limits,” said Lauderdale County Emergency Manager, George Graybryan.

If the City of Killen refuses to agree to a joint contract, the Killen-Center Star ambulance service says its service area would be strictly limited to the city limits of Killen-taking their prospective patient count from 14,000, down to about 1,100 people.

“We will be basically dissolved, I mean they are somewhat forcing us out,” said Golliver.

Several EMTs from the ambulance service are upset because they say they could lose their jobs and have nowhere else to go.  The EMTs say have to be 21 years old in order to work at Lauderdale or Keller EMS.

“Anywhere in the county we want to give them the same level of service,” said Graybryan.

Florence and county officials contend a joint contract better serves all residents.

According to the Lauderdale County EMA director, a larger coverage area is more appealing to potential service companies.