First countywide ambulance service now taking calls in Franklin County

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A countywide ambulance service is now fully operational in Franklin County.

Shoals Ambulance Service started dispatching response crews from their Russellville office, Wednesday. It's the first time the county has signed a contract with one ambulance service to care for almost all the residents in the area.

"After six months of searching, we won the bid for an exclusive contract for the ambulance service for Franklin County," said Blake Hargett, Director of Shoals Ambulance operations.

That contract excludes Phil Campbell, but they are covering a majority of the area, including Russellville, Red Bay and the rest of the county.

They hired more than 20 EMT's and paramedics to staff its Franklin County facility.  The Russellville Hospital office will have one advanced life support ambulance on site 24 hours a day for calls. The other one will be stationed in Red Bay.

It's all sanctioned by the county commission and city governments. They filled a demand for response crews. Hargett said they had no problem selecting Shoals Ambulance Service for the job.

"We've shown in other places to have good service," he said. "The city was trying to look at all their options for a good, quality service in town, and we got the contract."

On their first day in business in Franklin County, Hargett was proud of his team.

"We're working through all the issues and everything's working well. Everyone showed up for work, and ambulances are all performing as they were expected."

As for the community, they are glad to know they will get quality care throughout the area.