911 Board approves ambulance contract, interim director

Published 11:51 am Thursday, April 13, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Chilton County E-911 Board approved a new one-year ambulance contract with Regional Paramedical Services Inc. at its meeting on April 12. RPS will continue to provide emergency transport services for calls dispatched by Chilton County E-911. The motion to renew the contract with RPS was approved unanimously.

RPS will be available around the clock and every day of the year. Stipulations in the contract include RPS meeting recommended guidelines for response times of 25 minutes or less for 80% of the calls received. No call should exceed a 45-minute response time without justification for the delay. If RPS fails to meet the response time standards, a review process through the Contract Oversight Board is mapped out in the contract.

There is also a termination clause in the contract that states that “each party will have the option to submit notice of contract termination by notifying the other party a minimum of 90 days prior to termination.”

Other requirements in the contract included Chilton 911, RPS and the Fire Association to continue to go to a priority dispatch system that will dispatch ambulances according to certain calls. Public service calls such as life assists, medical alarms without a confirmed patient or passer-by with no confirmed patient will be handled by local fire departments. If there are three unsuccessful attempts and aid has not responded, RPS will answer the call for the public service.

RPS will continue to be dispatched for standby for structure fires for the first 20 minutes to allow time for search and rescue teams to complete their tasks.

The board unanimously approved Trae Caton as interim Chilton County E-911 director. Caton said at a work session on April 6 that he did not want the position permanently, but agreed to take charge for the time being. Assistant director Kelly Smitherman and training coordinator Danielle Stroud both were “fully onboard” with Caton becoming the interim director. Multiple board members thanked Caton for taking on the role.

Smitherman and Stroud were approved to attend a free training session in North Carolina next month. They were also given authorization to hire personnel.

The board also discussed ways to have more order during board meetings with procedures and rules of order. A motion to adopt Robert’s Rules of Order was presented and discussed, and the board agreed they should have rules for the meetings in place formally. However, to give each board member time to read through it all, the topic was tabled until the next meeting.

Seeking out recommendations and quotes to hire an attorney for the 911 board was also discussed. Recommendations from the board included finding an attorney that has more of a background on the types of potential legal matter a 911 board might face. A motion to gather quotes for attorneys and discuss the findings at the next meeting was approved unanimously.

A motion to get a debit card for the 911 board for bills was also approved, and the possibility of a credit card was also discussed.