Allow me to reply to the Lauderdale County Medical Society’s “Open Letter to Residents of Lauderdale County” which appeared in the Oct. 21 TimesDaily. In a letter written by the physicians, they lobbied Lauderdale County commissioners in an attempt to affect the outcome of the Oct. 22 vote on the ambulance service bid for the county.
There has been much misinformation as to what the commission can consider when awarding a contract. The society’s letter stated that “Lauderdale EMS has a direct affiliation with Huntsville Hospital” and that they “view this as a conflict of interest for our county.”
However, such language was not written into the bid specifications sent out to prospective bidders. Therefore, the commission could not take those concerns into consideration.
The law states that the contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, which in this case, was Lauderdale EMS.
The “lowest responsible bidder” translates to cheaper prices for ambulances transport services for Lauderdale County residents. While some people may have insurance that will cover those costs, there are many who don’t and there are those who are underinsured. The lowest price will help those who have little or no coverage.
As an elected official, I took an oath to uphold the constitution of the state of Alabama, and that includes the competitive bid law. Just as I would not ask any doctor to break his or her oath, I would expect they would not want me to break mine.
Rhea Tays Fulmer
Lauderdale County Commission