Terrell EMS remains county operated - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Terrell EMS remains county operated

There was a big crowd at the commission meeting Wednesday There was a big crowd at the commission meeting Wednesday
Commission Chairman Wilbur Gamble Commission Chairman Wilbur Gamble
DAWSON, GA (WALB) -

Terrell County Commissioners were considering using a private emergency service, but at their Wednesday morning meeting, voted against the idea.

Commissioners heard from three companies to see how they can save everyone in the county money. 

Lots of folks showed up for this morning's county commission meeting, where they applauded the fact that Emergency Medical Service will continue to run as it always has in Terrell County, and not become privatized. 

And that makes some people very happy.  "I'm very pleased because now the commissioners can work with the system that we have to improve it and can serve the clientele and the constituents of Terrell County more effectively and efficiently," said Reverend Ezekiel Holley.

Holley says he remembers when they did the same thing with the hospital in Terrell County that has since shut down. "At one time Terrell County had a wonderful hospital and the county privatized the hospital, and it didn't last very long, before we didn't have a hospital."

But County Commission Chairman Wilbur Gamble says for the first time they've had to borrow money before the fiscal year was up, and that deficit has to be made up somewhere. 

"Now there was a time last year that we borrowed money because of not being able to collect taxes on time, but that was temporary, but this time there was simply a deficit, and the deficit has to be made up, and we headed the wrong way in my opinion," Gamble said.

"But we're expecting it will take less revenue out of tax dollars. If they could operate it cheaper than we could, because right now it's going to cost us about $600,000 a year," Gamble said. "I don't think the average person would see a difference and hopefully it will get better." 

Holley finds it hard to believe that private would be the best option. "Other companies are not going to come to Terrell County to lose money. And how you get around losing money? You cut staff or go up on prices." 

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