Eclectic considers whether to end ambulance service

ECLECTIC, AL (WSFA) - The town of Eclectic is considering whether to get rid of its ambulance service.  It held a town hall meeting on the issue Tuesday night.  Town leaders say they may not have the money to continue to operate the service, as the service has to comply with new state requirements.

They're deciding whether to allow a private company, Haynes Ambulance,  to provide the service.  Haynes already serves most other municipalities in the county, including Wetumpka.

Those who attended the meeting said they were concerned whether Haynes could provide the same level of service to Eclectic residents as the current services does.

"When you call the ambulance service we know these people," said Rebecca Middaugh, an Eclectic resident.  "Not just because they work there, but they also live here."

Mayor Helen Rowe told WSFA 12 News, the EMS Service needs to hire two more employees to comply with state requirements.  Or the town could join the Elmore County contract with Haynes Ambulance at no cost, other than room and board for Haynes employees.  The contract spells out response time guidelines for each area served by Haynes.

"We've been 100 percent compliance with the contract, we've had no fines issued to us," said Kirk Barrett, Chief Operating Officer, for Haynes Ambulance of Alabama.   "It's a performance based contract, and we've been on time.  We've delivered exactly what we promised."

If Eclectic joins the contract, Barrett said Haynes would add another ambulance to its fleet of five vehicles that serve the county.  That ambulance would serve Eclectic and surrounding areas.  A back-up ambulance would be called in if that

Eclectic EMTs are also firefighters.  The fire chief said if the town does decide to get rid of its ambulance service, it could end losing up two firefighters.

But can the town afford to keep the ambulance service if they don't join the Haynes contract?

"I hope so, I trust so," Mayor Rowe said.  "I'm not going to say for sure, but I trust."

The council will meet again July 11th and is expected to make the decision then.

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