By Sheila Duncan
On Tuesday’s (6-27-23) regularly scheduled meeting of the Perry County Commission, a 3-2 decision was made to enter a two-week contract with the current ambulance service, ASAP, for $20,000.00. This decision baffled many in attendance, as it allowed Vice Chairman Harrison to delay further action and to provide the county attorney the necessary time to agree with the Perry County Hospital Board’s taking control of ambulance service in Perry County.
The County and ASAP agree that ASAP will provide one ambulance at an ALS level for the County, twenty-four hours per day for the two-week period from July 11 to July 25. The single truck shall be stationed in Marion only, and the County shall pay the sum of $20,000.00 to ASAP on July 11, as full payment for the services provided.
Chairman Turner argued that the arrangement with ASAP was a waste of resources and woefully inadequate for covering Perry County. He noted that the Uniontown area would be left without any sort of adequate services, and the county would pay more per week for less coverage. While their previous contract paid around $7,000.00 for two ambulances per week, the new deal with ASAP would cost a total of $10,000.00 for one ambulance. Furthermore, Chairman Turner noted that the new service offered by ASAP was already ready to operate with two ambulances, requiring only State licenses on June 28th. It was apparent to Chairman Turner that this arrangement was not beneficial for the citizens of Perry County.
After an extended discussion, Harrison, Hudson, and Eaton voted in favor of granting a two-week service contract to the Perry County Hospital Board, with Turner and Long voting against it. This resolution was then followed by the Commission unanimously passing a resolution to join the Alabama Safe Road Program with Autauga, Elmore, and Chambers Counties, as Perry County would be the host applicant in this multi-million-dollar highway grant opportunity. Chairman Turner noted this collaboration would lead to a higher return than if Perry County had pursued the grant independently. He also stated he would immediately send a letter of commitment along with the lease agreement for two ambulances to begin service on July 11.