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DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -
Friday evening, EMS workers started to walk off the job in Decatur.
Morgan County 911 Director Ryan Welty said the disruption started around 5:30 p.m. when two workers on an EMS truck notified 911 they were no longer in service for "internal issues." By 6:00 p.m. all the Decatur EMS trucks had put themselves out of service.
EMS officials said they plan ahead for situations like this, so they always have help around if needed.
"In that time frame there were no emergency calls impacted," said Welty. "That's because we do have another ambulance company here in Decatur, First Response EMS they handled any emergency calls in that time frame."
While all of the Decatur EMS trucks had put themselves out of service by 6:00 p.m. they were back in service by 8:30 p.m. However, that's still more than two hours with no Decatur EMS trucks on the clock.
Welty said he had no first-hand knowledge of any financial issues that would lead to the walk off, but once the EMS coordinator, Ted McKelvey, heard what happened, he called for reinforcements.
"Of course he contacted the other ambulance service First Response here in Decatur to make sure they had adequate trucks to provide our coverage since we in essence lost one of the services," said Don Palmer, the Operation Battalion Chief with Decatur Fire Department.
Palmer said there were two trucks in service Saturday night.
A member of the city's EMS Committee said that DEMSI may have violated its agreement with the city during the service disruption, saying that Decatur's two ambulance services are each required to operate two 24-hour trucks and a 12-hour truck on a daily basis.
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