A single ambulance service appears to be in Lauderdale County’s future.
A good question related to the business of providing ambulance service has been circulating through the Shoals in recent months: How many ambulance services can a limited population support?
At one point, it appeared up to three ambulance services could be making runs in Lauderdale County. That scenario would have Florence, Killen and rural Lauderdale County making separate deals with, perhaps, three different providers.
But the resulting fragmented market could possibly weaken the providers financially if there were not enough business to support them all. Also, the three governments involved might not get the best deal if they sought bids for services on their own.
That is why we are glad to hear that Florence, Killen and Lauderdale County appear to be uniting in seeking a single ambulance provider for the entire county.
Lauderdale EMS, which is associated with Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, now provides service to Florence and all of the county except Killen, Center Star and Greenhill. Those 14,000 households are covered by Killen-Center Star Rescue Squad.
If one ambulance service is chosen to serve the entire county, it should not matter if that service is associated with a particular hospital or company. The bid should go to the provider that can offer the highest quality service and shortest response time for the best price.