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Locals concerned about ambulance service

A large representation from local fire departments attended Monday’s Escambia County Commission meeting to express concern over changes in ambulance coverage for the Flomaton area and potential changes in Brewton.

Sonny Evans, spoke on behalf of his wife, Jackie, by reading a letter she wrote to commissioners.

“As a resident of Escambia County more than 50 years, I would like to voice my concerns regarding ambulance coverage for the Flomaton area. As you are aware, Escambia County, Fla., made the decision to move their ambulance, which covered Flomaton from the Century area to Molino, therefore leaving the Flomaton area without coverage. Several months ago, the Escambia County Health Care Authority sent out a request for proposal to once again provide 24/7 ambulance coverage for the city of Flomaton and surrounding area.”

As part of the RFP, it was required that the vendor provide 24-hour coverage for all emergency and non-emergency requests for services for the term of the contract.

The health care authority awarded a bid to Lifeguard Ambulance Service.

Those present at the meeting were concerned that instead of 24/7 coverage, there was only 12-hour peak coverage.

Commission Chairman Raymond Wiggins said he had received several calls from concerned constituents, but commissioners told those gathered that they only appoint members to the health care authority and that they do not have jurisdiction over the decisions made.

Commissioners offered to help facilitate a meeting with the health care authority.

Commissioner Larry White, who served on a task force for 24/7 ambulance coverage said there were also seeking proposals for coverage in other areas including Brewton.

White said the health care authority was working on an agreement for additional ambulance service for Brewton.

Those gathered expressed concern about lack of available ambulances when a transfer to Mobile, Pensacola or Birmingham is needed.

Currently, DW McMillan Ambulance Service serves the Brewton area.

They have four trucks, four employees but typically run two trucks at any one time.