Commission takes no action on support for rescue squad

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

LINDEN &8212; At the close of this year&8217;s regular legislation session, two bills that would provide additional funding for rescue squads in the state were once again shot down. Local rescue squads, however, have made it their goal to make sure the bills do not get shot down again.

Denny Baynham, representing Marengo County Rescue Squad and the South Marengo Rescue Squad went before the Marengo County Commission Tuesday to seek their support for the bill in order to benefit the county&8217;s two rescue squads.

The proposed bills, which were supported by Rep. Joe Faust, R- Fairhope, would take a portion of the taxes to be levied on boat trailers and personal watercraft trailers and distribute it to rescue squads, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for boat ramps, and to the Alabama Peace Officers&8217; Annuity and Benefit Fund.

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Baynham said the reason the bill was not passed in this year&8217;s session was because the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama opposed the bill.

Baynham said locally, rescue squads are responsible for 350 calls a year, the majority of which are fire calls or mutual assistance calls. In addition, funds for the squad come from the county, some taxes and fundraisers done by the squads themselves. Some squads across the state have even had to shut down due to lack of funding, he said.

Commissioner Freddie Armstead asked that the commission take no action on the proposal. He cited the lack of support from the Alabama Association of County Commissioners as his reasoning for the commission not to support the proposal locally.

In other business, the commission:

Signed a letter of support for West Alabama Public Transportation

Agreed to offer part time employment, up to two people per commission district, for three days a week during the summer.