Attorney General Sides With City In Ambulance Service Debate

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - The City of Muscle Shoals wants to choose which ambulance service will operate throughout city limits and the Alabama Attorney General agrees.

In an opinion handed down Tuesday, the Attorney General sides with the city in the ongoing debate with the Colbert County 911 board.

The 911 board disagrees with the city's choice of Shoals Ambulance Service.

“The Attorney General ruled that Muscle Shoals, the municipality has the right to bid for an ambulance of their choice,” said Mike Melton, Colbert County EMA Director.  

Helen Keller Hospital CEO, Doug Arnold contends this opinion doesn't match up to the precedent set.

“I`m confused a little bit about this ruling from the Attorney General`s office, because we have rulings over and over and over again from the Attorney General stating ultimately it`s the authority of the 911 board as to who provides those services,” said Arnold.

With this ruling, the City of Muscle Shoals must abide by the public bid laws and allow other companies to apply.  However after the board reviews those bids, they could still go with their own choice, using the Helen Keller service.

“If they designate a particular ambulance service as Muscle Shoals has attempted to do in the past, then the 911 board will make the decision whether to honor that request,” said Rebecca Narmore, the 911 board’s attorney.

While the city and county 911 board remains at odds, Keller EMS will continue running its routes through Muscle Shoals.