People in Treutlen Co. weigh in on new ambulance service

Citizens concerned about Treutlen ambulances

People in Treutlen County attended the Board of Commissioner's meeting Tuesday asking for answers about the county's new ambulance service.

Our Madison Cavalchire was there to find out why people say the service is shaky.

Freddie Mills Jr. says he lost his father last month to a heart problem. He says when that happened, nearby ambulance services were no help.

“One is half a mile away, one is 4.6 miles away, and the other one is 3.2. None of them could help us that night,” said Mills.

He says the county is to blame.

“It was 40 minutes or over. This is not just for him, this is for the citizens of Treutlen County. It's been an ongoing process,” said Mills.

A process that started when the county switched its ambulance service from Choice Care to Navicent Health in April.

County Manager Doug Eaves says Navicent wasn't the cheapest option, but out of those they interviewed, their response times were the best.

“Even though it wasn’t the lowest bid, it was the best bid,” said Eaves.

People at the meeting said their problem isn't with Navicent, it's with the number of ambulances available.

Eaves says there are two ambulances available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. During non-peak hours, there’s only one available.

Eaves says in the case of Freddie Mills Jr.’s father, two ambulances were on the way from other counties, but Treutlen's primary ambulance was on another call.

“Our procedure was, as soon as that call goes out, we automatically bring the back-fill ambulance in from Twiggs County to here. That ambulance was en route,” said Eaves.

Mills says that response isn't enough.

“Something has to be done. If not now, than how many more lives are we going to have to lose for something to be done?” asked Mills.

Eaves says the county will look into making changes.

“If this call volume continues to stay at the level that it is, we are going to be looking at the second, full-time, 24-hour ambulance,” said Eaves.

Eaves says in 2015, the county received 902 calls -- that's about 17 a week.


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