EMS under fire in Worth County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

EMS under fire in Worth County

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June 3, 2004

Worth County -- In 1998, Worth County Commissioners voted to let Phoebe Worth Hospital run the ambulance service. But now, the county says the hospital's work is unsatisfactory and they believe they can get someone else to do the job cheaper.While the debate wages on the current EMS director has resigned.

For more than six years Phoebe Worth Hospital has run Emergency Medical Services for Worth County. But if County Commissioners have their say that won't be the case by the end of this year.

"It's been six years it's about time we have someone else take a look at it and tell us what we need to do," says Worth Co. Commission Chairman Dan Miller.

Miller says the county pays almost $600,000 to Phoebe to manage it's ambulance service. But questions about slow reponse time to emergencies and high costs prompted the county to consider terminating its contract with the hospital.

"Well we have had some problems with them and the problems have not been eliminated. And we feel like it's time to put have bids and see how much money we can save the tax payer," says Miller.

But that may be easier said than done. The county missed the deadline date to cancel its contract with Phoebe Worth. And the contract automatically renewed for another three years.

Phoebe says it willing to negotiate with the county but believes they're doing good job. But regardless of the hospital's plans the county is moving forward to open the bidding process in an attempt to save more than $100,000.

Jimmy Hudson has resigned as EMS director, but says he still works for Phoebe. It's still unclear whether Phoebe will release the Worth county from the contract. County commissions they still plan to start accepting bids by August.

posted at 5:56PM by scott.hunter@walb.com