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Volunteers System In Houston County Needs Assistance - ATTENTION Houston County Commission

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 3061

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jul 24 2014 9:54 AM

HOUSTON COUNTY:   On Wednesday CARE Ambulance announced they would close the Dothan location. That means some 50 people will lose their jobs.


Dothan's Pilcher Ambulance has it under control and Dothan will be protected on ambulance coverage. Pilcher's will continue to cover the areas of Houston County assigned, back up in areas needed in Houston County, and the southern end of Dale County.


BUT


Houston County has issues looming. And not one person within the structure of Houston County is working to address those issues.


The issues are, employers are no longer allowing the employees to take off from work to fight fires or respond to EMS calls. That means it is getting more difficult for volunteers to cover their areas in fighting fires and respond to calls.


Some of the best volunteer EMS units in the county are missing more and more calls. The reason is, volunteers can not take off work in order to respond.


A recent call to Columbia...CPR in progress, no response from Columbia Rescue. So Pilcher's rolls from South Foster Street in Dothan to Columbia. Not being rude or offensive, but if CPR in progress at the time of dispatch, and the ambulance has to roll from Dothan to Columbia, go ahead and send the Houston County Coroner.


I am not being critical of Columbia Rescue. A great unit. But the volunteers have to make a living.


Houston County Rescue is a search and recovery unit. Not a lot of calls a year. A long time member and diver is Wayne McKinnon, employed with the City of Dothan. The City Manager, Mike West, stopped McKinnon from taking off from work on the clock to dive for a body. And that is about once a year on the average.


So if Dothan, who waste manpower and resources and allocates manpower in the wrong places, will not let people off, then why is the private sector responsible to?


I told members of the Houston County Commission when they were selecting a new Emergency Management Director this was perhaps the greatest challenge over the next 5 years. At a recent Houston County Commission I reminded them again.


Recently a Houston County Commissioner asked why do we not know that volunteers are missing calls. My response, do I really need to answer that?


My real response, if you can not figure that out then you really do not need to be a Houston County Commissioner.


We have great volunteers. They work their butts off. Funding is a problem for the volunteers - Well Hodgesville Fire Chief Todd McNeal wasted about $ 3,000.00 because he needed a private office!!! - so they do not need any money.


But we have great volunteers. MOST fire chiefs are wise with their funds.


But for the protection of life and property - someone needs to address the issue. I know most of the county commissioners never go to the county, but they could find themselves not breathing...





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