TURNER CO., GA (WALB) - Some leaders in Ashburn worry response time is suffering because one EMS station hasn't been operational in months.
The future of EMS station number 2 on West Washington Avenue in Ashburn remains unknown. Turner County leaders say it has a leaking roof that needs to be repaired.
"It's a FEMA trailer that needs some repairs done to it," said Daryl Hall Sr., District 2 County Commissioner. "However in my opinion the building is livable."
Some city leaders believe it is too.
"You go in the building, there's no mold, no mildew, and I would actually stay in the facility myself," said Johnny Burgess, Mayor.
For seven years, the trailer was staffed with two County EMS workers 24 hours a day. Those personnel are now working in the EMS station on the east side of town.
"The discussion is how are we going to move forward with this department," said Hall.
With railroad tracks dividing the city, some leaders worry people on the west side of Ashburn aren't getting the EMS coverage they deserve.
"If a train comes on the tracks and stops and the EMS gets a call on the west side of town," said Howard Jordan, City Councilman. "Now that the service is no longer provided on the west side of the city now you got a dilemma."
"There hasn't been any issues but that doesn't mean there are not issues coming," said Hall.
The station is in a predominantly African American neighborhood. The leaders WALB spoke with say they just want to make sure all citizens in the city and county are safe.
"The city in general would be safer if we had two EMS stations, one on the East side and one on the West side of town," said Sedric Carithers, City Manager.
"I would like to see the county step up and do the maintenance on the facility and that facility remain open on a 24-hour day basis," said Hall.
The county commission hasn't even discussed repairs or the future of the station, but they are scheduled to take up the issue at a workshop on April 26th.