Grady EMS of Atlanta is busy getting things in place to officially take over operation of Decatur County’s Emergency Medical Service on Sept. 1.
Pete Richey, the director of business development with Grady EMS, spoke to Decatur county commissioners Tuesday night. Grady EMS human resources has been in Bainbridge this week interviewing 24 applicants for positions within the private EMS. Per the terms of its five-year contract with Decatur County, Grady EMS is interviewing interested persons who are presently employed with Decatur County EMS in order to meet the new department’s staffing needs.
It’s estimated that the privatized EMS will have 27 positions, a mix of full-time and part-time employees, Richey said. The interviews were set to wrap up on Thursday, and Grady EMS officials will return the week of July 6 to make contingent job offers and do uniform fittings for those current employees who accept the new positions. After that, if there are any open positions left, Grady EMS will attempt to contact outside applicants, including those who have worked for Decatur County EMS in the past but don’t currently work there, in order to fill its staffing needs, according to Richey.
In response to commissioners’ questions, Richey said Grady EMS has a plan in place to begin operating the private ambulance service before the official Sept. 1 start date, and added that things were progressing according to plan so far.
“We’ve been really impressed with the renovations and repairs that Decatur County Prison Warden Elijah McCoy, his staff and inmate workers have been doing [at the County EMS building on Airport Road],” Richey said after the meeting.
Part of Decatur County’s contract with Grady EMS calls for several of the county’s ambulances to be remounted–the ambulance cargo area is paired with a new vehicle and engine–over the course of five years. At the end of the contract period, the county will get to keep the refurbished ambulances, regardless of whether the county renews its contract with Grady EMS or not.
Richey said the first ambulance that will be remounted at Grady EMS’ facility in Atlanta, Ga., is scheduled to be driven up to Atlanta the week of June 30.
He also said Decatur-Grady 911 Director Tonya Griffin and four of her staff recently went to Atlanta to undergo emergency medical dispatcher training. The training will help the 911 dispatchers to know what kind of information to ask 911 callers about emergency medical situations, and then pass more detailed information about the patient(s)’ condition to EMS staff who will be enroute.
Under its contract, Grady EMS will be required to have three ambulances ready to respond to emergencies around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.