Lee Co. officials make progress on EMS/Fire merger budget - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. officials make progress on EMS/Fire merger budget

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Phoebe foundation receives donation for medical student housing

    Phoebe foundation receives donation for medical student housing

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:25:30 GMT
    Lauren Ray, Phoebe Foundation Executive DirectorLauren Ray, Phoebe Foundation Executive Director
    A generous donation will help build a $5 million medical student housing facility on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's campus.The Richard King Mellon Foundation donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation for the proposed 25-unit gated community. More >>
    A generous donation will help build a $5 million medical student housing facility on Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's campus.The Richard King Mellon Foundation donated $1 million to the Phoebe Foundation for the proposed 25-unit gated community. More >>
  • Dougherty County School System has Open House

    Dougherty County School System has Open House

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:19:35 GMT
    Valerie Williams, Radium Springs Middle School PrincipalValerie Williams, Radium Springs Middle School Principal
    Dougherty County parents and students got to meet old and new faces at their schools this evening.The school system held an open house at each school for families to meet the staff and learn what to expect for the upcoming school year.More >>
    Dougherty County parents and students got to meet old and new faces at their schools this evening.The school system held an open house at each school for families to meet the staff and learn what to expect for the upcoming school year.More >>
  • Law enforcement and first responders collaborate for "National Night Out"

    Law enforcement and first responders collaborate for "National Night Out"

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:14:28 GMT
    Imaya FreeloveImaya Freelove
    First responders reached out to the community Thursday night to build better relationships and help kids get ready for school.For the first time, all the law enforcement and first responder agencies in Dougherty County worked together on a National Night Out event. More >>
    First responders reached out to the community Thursday night to build better relationships and help kids get ready for school.For the first time, all the law enforcement and first responder agencies in Dougherty County worked together on a National Night Out event. More >>
LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

As EMS workers continue training to become volunteer firefighters in Lee County, officials are now working to crunch numbers and make sure the new merger is successful.

The plan is to fit a couple of new fire trucks, stations and equipment into the budget all before the new year.

The hope is that within the next year that transition will begin in at least 1 of 3 brand of the new Fire and EMS stations throughout Lee County.

"We hope to break ground on some of the stations next year or at least one of them and begin the process", said Ron H. Rabun, Lee County Manager.

24 EMS members, along with 6 volunteer firefighters are now making their way into the final stages of training as part of the merger to provide better response times and lowering ISO ratings.

A report was given earlier this week at a commissions meeting with officials saying great progress is being made in these initial stages. The next step is to crunch numbers and make sure the multi-year budget is set for construction and new equipment before the first of the new year. 

"We just want to hurry in the next 6 months or so and if we're ready then, and I think we will be, then we'll have an ISO come in," said Rabun.

In the long run, the new stations, new fire trucks and well trained crews are expected to expected save taxpayer money and  lower home owner and commercial rates for insurance premiums.

"It's a innovative kind of departure, it's not just fire, it's not just EMS," said Rabun. "We're combining people, and multi-training people so that they can do more and stretch the dollar further. "

Although preparing for the new merger may be 80% complete, officials say the new workers will never truly be done with training. In an effort to keep them on their toes and prepared, all to help make the county safer.

The EMS workers should complete firefighter training by December. Lee County officials say they could still use more volunteers.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.