City and County Divided on Ambulance Services

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - A three to one vote by the Lauderdale County Commission Monday morning has forced the re-bid of emergency medical services in the county and Florence.

Several years ago, the two combined the bid process to help lower costs and confusion.

Now it appears the two bodies are going their separate ways.

“As a commissioner, elected by the people of Lauderdale County, it’s my obligation to do the things that I feel is right,” explained Commissioner Faye Parker about his yes vote.

Out of the four voting members on the commission, three voted to accept the bid by Lauderdale EMS.

Commissioner DC Thornton voted against the motion of accepting the bid, saying he had issues with Lauderdale EMS, but would not explain.

Earlier this month, the Florence City Council voted to accept a higher bid from the same package to give emergency medical calls to Shoals Ambulance Service.

Since the two government bodies do not agree, the bid process must start over.

After the vote, Dewey Mitchell the Lauderdale County Commission Chairman said, “By splitting this, we really revert back to the past, where we tried it separately and it was not a successful venture.”

Ted Kavich, the Waterloo Fire Chief, attended Monday morning’s meeting.

Kavich supports Lauderdale EMS, and he doesn’t see dividing the county and city ambulance services as a problem.

“I know for the folks in the west end of the county, and most of the folks I have talked to in the east end, we’re happy with the results that it is now,” said Chief Kavich.

Lauderdale 9-1-1 officials say they must now go back and divide the city and county response areas for ambulance services and prepare the re-bid process.

9-1-1 officials say Lauderdale EMS will continue servicing both the city of Florence and Lauderdale County until the final re-bid process is complete.

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