FLORENCE — The Lauderdale County Commission on Monday will begin reviewing, dissecting and finalizing specifications for the county’s emergency medical services.
The commission work session will begin at 1 p.m. Commissioners will discuss proposed specifications that will be sent for bid to potential ambulance providers.
Two weeks ago, the commission received a draft of the bid specifications.
“We’ve had the information to look over, and now we’ll sit down and try to go over it together, review it and make sure everything is in there that needs to be,” County Commission Chairman Dewey Mitchell said.
George Grabryan, Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency and 911 director, said the information for review includes the service area populations as well as details and other specifics that he was asked to include in the bid package.
The bid specifications for ambulance service are just for Lauderdale County. Grabryan said a set of bids for emergency medical services for the city of Florence also has been prepared.
On Oct. 22, the commission voted 3-1 to accept a proposal from Lauderdale EMS, which is owned by Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield. Shoals Ambulance, which is based at Shoals Hospital in Muscle Shoals, was the only other company to submit a bid for the county’s service.
Florence officials voted Oct. 2 to go with Shoals Ambulance. The move resulted in termination of a joint, four-year agreement between the city and county to use the same primary emergency medical provider.
That agreement had been in place for the past 14 years. Both entities now have to accept bids for ambulance service within their own jurisdictions.
The commission’s next regular meeting is Dec. 10.
“I don’t know how quick we will be able to get the specifications completed,” Commissioner Larry Irons said. “There’s a lot in that proposal to digest and go over.
“I just don’t know if we will be in position to finalize (the specifications) and have them ready to go out for bid before early next year.”
Florence City Council President Dick Jordan said the council has not scheduled a time to review its proposed specifications.
“We have them, but we have not discussed them,” Jordan said.
Lauderdale EMS has agreed to continue to provide ambulance service to Florence and Lauderdale County until new contracts are approved.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.