3:12 PM. Ozark EMS To Handle South Dale CountyRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 14 2023 3:30 PM
SOUTH DALE COUNTY: 3:12 PM. As the clock strikes 7:00 PM South Dale EMS will close operation. The closure is due to a funding issue and no more money to operate.
RSN confirmed with Ozark Mayor Mark Blakenship that Ozark EMS will begin handling the territories currently handled by South Dale EMS.
Mayor Blakenship said all five municipalities, Grimes, Napier Field, Midland City, Pinckard and Newton have signed or have agreed to sign contracts with Ozark EMS to handle South Dale territory.
Ozark EMS is a department of the City of Ozark. All employees of Ozark EMS are employees of the City of Ozark.
Mayor Blakenship said in the immediate future the City of Pinkard will provide a place for a ambulance and EMS crew to be stationed. At the immediate moment Ozark EMS will have to respond from Ozark.
ECHO EMS will back up Ozark EMS.
This leaves Dale County with ECHO EMS, Ozark EMS, Ariton EMS and Daleville EMS.
When the $ 5.00 tag fee legislation passed South Dale County Mayors saw the opportunity to open a EMS. The Mayors rejected the proposals from ECHO EMS that would cover South Dale and were willing to station a ambulance on Highway 231 in the areas of Pinckard - Midland City - Newton. The Mayors rejected that offer and forged ahead with South Dale EMS.
After getting involved the Mayors realized that the operation of EMS was much different then what their visions were. The $ 5.00 tag fee was only a band aid and not a cure all. EMS responds to a lot of non-billable calls, transports a lot of patients without insurance or the ability to pay.
A lot of the decisions made by the ALABAMA Department of Public Health - EMS Division are made by bureaucrats who try to help keep their state job but their rules make no sense.
South Dale Parents soon realized many people, to include government officials and some law enforcement, ignore EMS until they are needed. And when transporting patients to the hospital the EMS are given a ton of advisories - Southeast Health on med surge diversion, behavioral health diversion, etc… That leaves the EMS with, oh well, the Charge Nurse if going to fuss but they have to get over it.
You make a transport and Medicare or Medicaid pay $ 100.00. The insurance company rejects and wants more documentation. And on and on and on.
HATS OFF IN ONE SENSE AND IN ANOTHER SENSE.
OK, Mayor you gave it a run. For that I do commend you.
On the other hand you thought it was selfishness when people tried to explain to you, Mayors you do not realize what you are getting yourselves into.
Heath Hughes of ECHO Fire and EMS, a very successful businessman and number cruncher, attempted to tell you before you launched the venture.
This is not meant as “told you so”. But sometimes you have to listen to those who have been in it for years.
THANKS FOR TRYING because EMS emergencies are not planned. As we saw on National TV, EMS does save lives.