BREAKING: 911 board approves countywide ambulance service contract

Published 5:31 pm Thursday, January 13, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County 911 Board unanimously approved a one-year contract with Regional Paramedical Services for countywide ambulance service on Jan. 13.

This contract goes into effect Feb. 1.

Board chair Jimmie Hardee said he was glad to see a contract finally signed and thanked everyone who had been a part.

“I think there is a burden lifted off this county knowing that we do have an ambulance service here that is going to work with us and that appreciates accountability,” Hardee said.

Zero subsidies or payments of any kind to RPS are included in the contract.

Under the contract, RPS is required to have a response time of 25 minutes or less for an average of 80% of responses with none going over 45 minutes “without reasonable justification for the delay.”

A Contract Oversight Board will review calls to see if there was “reasonable justification.”

“If delays appear to the Board to be unreasonable or inexcusable, RPS will submit a plan to the Board of how the issues will be corrected,” according to the contract. “RPS will be allowed a 30 day implementation period to execute the plan and allow time for monitoring effectiveness.”

Any issues deemed “grossly noncompliant with standards or that were caused by inadequate action” by RPS could result in the Oversight Board imposing a fine to the company.

“We are going to meet once a month with RPS … we are going to go case-by-case on these,” Hardee said.

Hardee will serve on the board with 911 director Terra Scott, Fairview Volunteer Fire Chief Joe Cole, Clanton Police Chief Erick Smitherman, EMA director Derrick Wright, Volunteer Fire Association president Butch Billingsley and Matt Griffin, who had served on the Ambulance Contract Oversight Group during negotiations.

The contract is the first year-long contract for countywide service since May 2020. RPS had been serving the county on memorandum of understanding agreements since then.

Either party has the option to terminate the contract with 90 days’ notice.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a 6% raise for 911 dispatchers. Scott said the money for the increase was already in the budget because of unfilled positions.