Decatur County Commissioners are holding a regular meeting Tuesday night at 7 p.m., in part to nail down the details of a contract with EMS Grady of Atlanta, who was selected last week to operate Decatur County’s ambulance service. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the County Administration Building, located at 203 W. Broughton Street, Bainbridge.
Below is a rundown of what EMS Grady, a not-for-profit company associated with Grady Hospital in Atlanta, has proposed to Decatur County. County officials may also tweak some aspects of the contract, after Memorial Hospital CEO Billy Walker expressed concern to commissioners that handing the ambulance service over to EMS Grady could, in his view, open the door up to outside competition with Memorial Hospital’s publicly-funded health care services.
Keep in mind that Decatur County commissioners have to transfer an estimated $220,000 per year to cover an operating loss in the EMS department. At times in the 2000s, that annual operating loss has exceeded $500,000. With a privatized EMS, the county will pay a flat rate for EMS Grady to run the ambulance service, and won’t have to worry about an unknown loss. However, EMS Grady will also get to keep any payments it receives from patients who utilize the ambulance service. Just as an aside, the question was brought up, how will Decatur County’s ambulances be marked to avoid confusion with neighboring Grady County’s ambulance service? EMS Grady vice-president Bill Compton said EMS Grady has another brand name and insignia it can use, or the ambulances can keep the Decatur County labeling. EMS Grady’s proposal (this is based on its bid not including Seminole County, who may join on in the future):
- Three ambulances in Bainbridge
- 27 full and part time employees (currently 17 full-time)
- Cost of $250,000 per year
- Contract term: Five years, termination for cause
- EMS Grady’s Bill Compton said Decatur County gets to keep any new or re-mounted ambulances and equipment delivered within the contract period. EMS Grady will provide new ambulances initially and remount existing units (put the ambulance “box” on a new truck chassis) at its own remounting facility
- Startup time – 90 to 120 days
- Employee benefits – Paid Time Off, health insurance, 401K, tuition reimbursement
- EMS Grady would work with Decatur-Grady 911 to provide its employees specialized medical dispatcher training
- Decatur County would provide the EMS building and pay for associated utilities
- EMS Experience: Metro Atlanta