HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) - We're continuing to follow that situation in Hartselle tonight regarding the repossessed ambulances. Those emergency vehicles are still not back. It's a story we first told you about here on WHNT News 19 at 6:30 earlier this week. Three of the ambulances belonging to County EMS were confiscated by repo agents Monday night.
It was never a question of money that led to the repossession of the ambulances. But when company owner Terry Garwood passed away suddenly on January 17th, the finance company holding the note on the vehicles was left with an invalad contract and moved to secure the collateral, the ambulances. (joey mckinley, county ems)
"It had nothing to do with finances, it just had to do with a breach of contract as far as Terry dying and we just had to get over some hurdles and we have gotten over those hurdles," says County EMS's Operations Manager, Joey McKinney. He says the last hurdle was cleared Thursday afternoon when the company secured a creditors bond, which will clear the way for the vehicles to be returned to Hartselle as early as tomorrow. The company serves Hartselle, portions of Morgan and Lawrence Counties, and nearby Falkville.
We spoke with both the mayor and police chief in Falkville. They're watching the situation very closely, but for now they tell us they feel the area is being adequately covered. In fact, Falkville Mayor Bob Ramey tells us the owner of Samaritan Ambulance has pledged the use of one of their ambulances until County EMS has their vehicles back.
"Hopefully by tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon around twelve, our three ambulances will be sitting back in our parking lot ready to go, fully staffed and ready to run calls again," McKinney tells WHNT News 19.
We've double-checked and confirmed that despite everything that's happened to County EMS over the past few days, the company has not missed nor been delayed in answering a single call.