Volunteer ambulance proposed for county

Published 11:42 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All of the pieces are almost in place for the Marengo County Fire and Rescue Squad to operate a volunteer ambulance service in the county. That’s what Carey Mills, the squad’s assistant chief told the Marengo County commissioners on Tuesday.

Mills says he has found an ambulance the squad would like to buy for $10,000.

“We can be up and ready as soon as we get help from the county. We can go ahead and put it effect,” said Mills, who is a firefighter paramedic. “The medical response situation in this county is dire need of help.”

Email newsletter signup

Last year the Marengo County Fire and Rescue Squad responded to 268 calls in the county.

“This includes 150 medical runs. Seventeen of these runs were chest pains and 10 of these were heart attacks and one person that died while waiting on an ambulance,” said Mills. “Last year we had a total of 17 hours waiting on an ambulance to arrive on the scene. Last December, at a bus wreck the ambulance took 30 minutes to respond.”

Mills did not fault any ambulance service for the delays, but acknowledged it is the drawback you have in responding to calls in a rural areas.

His plan is to provide volunteer ambulance service throughout most of the county to support the TEMS service, the ambulance service based at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

“There are many reasons why an ambulance is not available to respond when needed in some cases,” said Mills. “Our service could essentially fill the need for quick service during those times.

“We will have our volunteers staff it all the time,” said Mills. “If they need us, we will be able to assist them. My plan is to help TEMS ambulance service wherever we can.”

Mills added that EMT training needed for ambulance personal would be offered to volunteer fire departments throughout the county this spring.

“We are setting the bar higher for us to be better,” said Mills.

Mills has been with the rescue squad for almost six months. He has worked for the past ten years with the United States Department of Defense.

In other business:

Outspoken citizen Deek Glass was arrested at the commissioners’ meeting.

Glass, who regularly attends the meetings to complain about county road workers created a disturbance after addressing the commissioners at the Marengo County Courthouse.

Glass had just finished grilling the commissioners about why county road crew trucks were seen at various locations in Linden when the disturbance occurred.

“You have addressed everything you had listed on the agenda. It’s time to move on to the next item of business,” board president Jerry Loftin told Glass.

Glass ignored the directive and Loftin again attempted to move the meeting forward, but Glass refused to give up the podium.

After a couple more attempts, Sheriff Jesse Langley was called upon to escort Glass out of the meeting.

As Sheriff Langley attempted to guide Glass towards the door, Glass announced, “You are going to have to arrest me.”

Langley was assisted in removing Glass from the conference room and placing him under arrest by Chief Deputy Tommy Reese.

Langley and Reese managed to transport Glass outside the courthouse in route to the jail across the parking lot when he began to struggle.

Glass was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

The commissioners accepted two bids to repair the roof at the county’s correctional facility.

This is to fix problems in the roof over the facilities gym that is allowing it to leak.

J and M Construction submitted a bid of $87,460. Diversified Coatings presented a bid of $45,000. The commissioners decided to take the bids under advisement before awarding the contract.

The commissioners voted to grant a ten-year tax exemption for Foster Farms in Demopolis. According to commissioner Dr. Ken Tucker, Foster Farms has spent over $2 million in capital improvement to their facility and added 30 jobs.

“The Demopolis Industrial Development Board and the Marengo County Economic Development Authority has already approved similar measures,” said Tucker.

The commission announced that the Dallas-Selma Community Action Agency is now taking applications for energy assistance to help people pay their heating bills.

The commissioners voted to approve pay raises for three clerks within the commissioners’ office. Commissioner Tucker said the raises were for additional duties the three clerks took on after a fourth clerk retired late last year.

“Instead of filling that spot we simply added to the responsibilities of the other clerks,” said Dr. Tucker. “We were able to save the county $16,500 this way.”

The Commissioners passed a resolution honoring Sweet Water High School for winning the Class 1-A state championship in Dec.