FLORENCE — Bid packages for countywide emergency medical services were sent to a dozen vendors Thursday, county officials said.
Two weeks ago, the Lauderdale County Commission received a letter from Killen officials stating the town wants to be included in a countywide bid. Commissioners then instructed County Administrator Brenda Bryant and county 911 Director George Grabryan to notify the city of Florence and proceed with sending out bid packages.
The commissioners had proposed a joint bid that would allow one ambulance service to provide emergency medical service for the entire county, including Florence.
Florence council members said two weeks ago they would be included in a joint bid proposal only if it was countywide.
Grabryan said he met with Bryant and county attorney Chris Smith on Thursday to finalize the bid specifications.
“They have been sent out to perspective bidders,” Grabryan said.
Bryant said bids were sent to 12 potential bidders who had requested packages.
“The bids are on track to be opened Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. in the commission office,” Grabryan said.
Commission Chairman Dewey Mitchell said having one company providing ambulance service for the entire county would be best.
“With the entire county involved, we will get a better bid than if we have (the county) split up,” Mitchell said
Currently Lauderdale EMS, which is under the umbrella of Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, provides emergency medical service to the city of Florence and all of the county with the exception of the Killen, Center Star and Greenhill area. Those 14,000 households are covered by Killen-Center Star Rescue Squad.
Having a countywide bid will likely close the operation of the rescue squad.
The rescue squad operates an ambulance service and is under the umbrella of the Center Star Volunteer Fire Department.
David Charles, chairman of the Center Star Volunteer Fire Department said a county-wide EMS bid would be the end of the department’s ambulance service.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.