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Emergistat approved as Perry ambulance service

The Perry County Commission voted Tuesday to approve the bid by Emergistat for ambulance service in the county. Commissioner Brett Harrison cast a no vote and complained about the procedure used to accept the bids.

The bids had been opened at the April 13 meeting, but the prices were not announced. The bids were later considered by a public safety committee composed of commissioner Tim Sanderson and commission vice-chairman Albert Turner Jr. That committee asked for amendments to each bid and then brought a recommendation to the commission Tuesday morning to select from either Emergistat or North Star.

Emergistat currently provides ambulance service to Perry County at a cost of $198,000 a year. Their present contract was extended for 30 days at the last commission meeting until a new bid could be approved.

This time, Emergistat bid $140,000 a year, and North Star bid $146,000. Early on in the meeting, Turner stressed that the county does not have to accept “the lowest bid but the most responsible bid.”

Harrison said the prices for the bids should have been revealed when the bids were opened. Turner argued that extra information was needed from all the vendors, and it would not have been right to reveal their prices before asking for more competitive information.

Harrison believes the bids should have been thrown out and rebid instead of asking for amendments from the vendors.

Although the bid for Emergistat was approved, Turner said further negotiation would be needed.

Perry County wants ambulance companies to pay for their own housing for stations in Marion and Uniontown and provide their own dispatching. The county does not have an E-911 service.

In other action from Tuesday’s commission meeting, a new personnel committee was formed composed of chairman Johnny Flowers and vice-chairman Turner. The committee will review and interview applicants for county positions in conjunction with department heads, Turner said, and then bring recommendations back to the commission.

Harrison complained to Turner that he is never selected for committees. “I think you should consider Mr. Harrison for some of these committees,” said commissioner Ron Miller.

“Mr. Harrison is becoming more of a team player,” Turner said. “If you’re a team player, you can get in the game.”

Harrison said he has been placed only on one committee, to create a shooting range at the county landfill.