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Health care authority looking at big picture

DW McMillan CEO Chris Griffin said the health care authority is working to ensure the best ambulance service while looking at what’s being spent.

Griffin said that they were approached last summer by Escambia County, Fla. EMS asking them to find another ambulance option for the Flomaton area.

“The health care authority basically instructed me to figure out what we can do,” he said. “We put together a group of key folks – board members, Flomaton people and staff together. We had a retired fire chief from Mobile County help. All that culminated with an request for proposal in January. We asked people to see who would be interested.”

They received RFPs from Atmore Ambulance, ASAP Ambulance and LifeGuard.

Griffin said that while the section of the RFP does say that the vendor must provide continuous 24-hour coverage, there is also another section that said they could propose other options and the health care authority is open to those conversations.

“As we went through this, the committee felt that LifeGuard might be the right option for a company to work with,” he said.

Griffin said that the board did approve a short-term agreement to have a 12-hour presence with a mutual aid agreement to have service to the Flomaton area.

Griffin said that Escambia County, Fla., EMS still has the contract in Flomaton.

In regards to Brewton ambulance service, Griffin said that there are some discussion to see how it would possibly reduce subsidies, keep the ambulance service viable and more.

“This started with we have an issue in Flomaton, but we are looking to see if there is something that is a little better,” he said. “Something more cost effective. The board feels like we have to look at that, and what they might do with our company, but no decision has been made. This is just an evaluation.”

Griffin said he hopes the negotiations and evaluations will be done within the next four months.

“Escambia County EMS is still under contact and are until December,” he said. “There are outs in there contract and they approached it with a professional attitude, giving us time.”