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Dale County Commission Chairman Mark Blakenship Holds A Meeting To Present Plan On EMS Funding

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 3831

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Nov 07 2017 2:43 PM

DALE COUNTY:   Dale County Commission Chairman Mark Blakenship and members of the Dale County Commission have a “mission”. Solving the EMS ( Emergency Medical Services ) in Dale County.

This past week Dale County Commission Chairman Mark Blakenship was host to a meeting to discuss funding for Emergency Medical Services. Several area leaders were present to include State Representative Steve Clouse, Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson, Ozark – Dale County Emergency Management Director Kurt McDaniel, Ozark – Dale County E911 Paula Simmons, the Mayor of Level Plains, Dale County Commissioner’s Gary and Wilson along with Dale County Attorney Henry Stegall.

Chairman Blakenship told the group there were some 4799 EMS runs in Dale County. The run volume breakdown is as follows:  ARITON 206; DALEVILLE 750; ECHO 514; MIDLAND CITY 418; OZARK 2810; SKIPPERVILLE 103.

Chairman Blakenship discussed passing a $ 5.00 fee for each license plate purchase in Dale County in order to fund EMS in Dale County. Chairman Blakenship said that would generate about $ 320,000.00 in Dale County.

Chairman Blakenship said the monies generated would be distributed based on EMS call volumes. The Dale County Commission would retain 3% of the fee. Based on         $ 320,000.00 that would be $ 9,600.00 annually to administer the fees.

The Dale County EMS Board would retain 1% of the fee. Based on $ 320,000.00 that would be $ 3,104.00 annually.

The remainder would be generated throughout the Dale County Ambulances based on the runs made. Each unit would get about $ 64.00 per run. If any insurance billings the EMS provider ( ambulance ) would also retain that billing. This fee would be in addition to the $ 5.00 fee on license plates.

Representative Clouse stressed this would be local legislation. It would require a vote of the registered voters of Dale County if the Alabama Legislature gave it the nod forward.

There were several questions. Some posed by the Level Plains Mayor about his town starting an ambulance service but they would not generate any of the funds in order to start one. Currently Level Plains uses Enterprise Rescue as their medical provider. It was explained to the Mayor the cost of start up and some issues related to a start up. It was also suggested that he discuss with the City of Daleville partnering on the ambulance service.

Representative Clouse will begin a draft legislation for the commission to discuss.

EMS has been an issue that all counties battle with. There is a major shortage of volunteers, shortage in the business community with employers allowing time off for EMS and fire runs. The training involved for EMS.

And there is a shortage of EMS people who are available to even work for pay.

The south end of Dale County has issues with ambulance coverage. The area is served by Ozark, Echo and Pilcher Ambulance. At times Abbeville and Headland have been required to be dispatched.

Chairman Blakenship is seeking ideas and plans. His sleeves are rolled up and working to find a solution.

You know medical emergencies in health or trauma, they make no appointment when they occur, and they make no pre-announcement of the next victim, or where the victim is located.

Chairman Blakenship, members of the Dale County Commission, Dale County Sheriff Olson and all involved feel the quality and level of service should be top notch anywhere.

The Alabama Legislature goes into session in January and will adjourn in April. So any legislation that is local requires four weeks of advertising. The group is working on ideas and plans to make things work in order to protect the citizens and guests of Dale County.

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