Commission requests Haynes ambulance response

Published 12:47 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

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The Lowndes County Commission learned on April 10 that Haynes ambulance has failed to respond to requests for information.

According to Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency Director Rodney Rudolph, his requests for information remain unanswered from Haynes Ambulance, the county’s current ambulance service provider.

The county’s contract with Haynes is up for renewal in June. In preparation for consideration of renewal or opening the bid process to other suppliers, the commissions asked Rudolph to prepare an estimate of the cost for the county to staff its own ambulances with county personnel.

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Rudolph to commissioners he has gathered some needed information but has been hindered awaiting a response from Haynes and a meeting with 911 dispatchers.

“I have to meet with the E 911 board,” Rudolph said. “It’s important that I meet with them because the county [relies] on dispatch. Dispatchers call the local ambulance service. A lot goes on that our dispatchers don’t know about.”

Rudolph said he examined one month’s worth of recent dispatch reports and found no record of whether Haynes had transported any residents.

“The only way we have [currently] to know whether someone is transported is that our local fire department calls in and tells our dispatchers that they have been dispatched,” Rudolph said.

The data is needed, Rudolph explained, to help determine the volume of service needed. Rudolph explained that even if the county operates its own service, the data is necessary to project cost and anticipated revenue.

“Even if we run our own service, we won’t be the ones doing the billing,” Rudolph said. “We will use an outside source and they will need to know how many calls we answer per month. Right now, I am still in the midst of going through all the calls per month. The ambulance company we use now will not give us the information on whether or not they are billing people. They won’t tell us whether or not we are even transporting people.”

Rudolph told commissioners he had no way to accurately measure current ambulance transports without the date from Haynes. For now, he is reviewing each call for help to determine whether the resident may have been transported by ambulance to a medical provider.

Lowndes County Administrator Jacquelyn Thomas said commissioners asked County Attorney Prince Chestnutt to contact Haynes and ask for the needed data.

In other business, the commission;

  • Heard Lowndes County Health Department progress updates from Tim Hatch who described the number of clients served, repaving of the facility’s parking lot, and the department’s purchase of a new shed;
  • Approved payment of invoices;
  • Discussed appointment of representatives to the Board of Equalization;
  • Received Alabama Tax Abatement process information pertaining to SABIC property from Alabama Department of Revenue representative Jennifer Byrd.

The commission will meet again on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Charles Smith Court House Annex in Hayneville.