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Greene County ambulance chairman vows service will continue

Community pitching in to keep Greene Co. EMS running
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:14 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 6:54 PM CDT
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GREENE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s a question that’s weighed on the minds of thousands in Greene County recently. There had been a threat to temporarily suspend the ambulance service on May 20, but not so, according to the Greene County EMS board chairman. Chairman Joe Powell says the service has not been cancelled, still in operation and will be in the foreseeable future.

Billie Williams ended the week with a big sigh of relief, relieved Greene County’s only ambulance will not be cancelled.

“I’m extremely, extremely relieved. Our population is made up of a lot of elderly people who desperately need this service,” she said.

“Ambulance will be in service,” Powell promised.

Greene County EMS board chairman Joe Powell expressed high confidence on May 20 that that would be the case, in spite of a letter from interim director Zac Bolding who strongly suggested the service would have to be temporarily suspended at 6:00 p.m. Friday due to lack of funding. WBRC reached out to Bolding twice and we were unable to reach him.

“We will have service beyond 6:00 o’clock tonight,” chairman Powell said.

The board felt ‘blindsided’ by the letter three days after meeting to talk about the future of the ambulance service in Greene County.

“I can say some of the citizens were upset about that letter and it was a bombshell,” said Powell.

In terms of immediate funding, chairman Powell says he’s gotten what he considers ‘significant pledges’ from the community, including from at least one employer.

“About $45,000,” he said.

Chairman Powell declined to name anyone, but is certain there is enough community support to do what it takes to keep the service in operation. If not?

“They should not be concerned, and if anything happens beyond our control we do have people who have already called to serve as a back-up,” said Powell.

In the meantime, people like Billie Williams are getting tired of the never-ending alarm over whether the service will continue in there.

“It was distressing. I mean I’ve had several people say what will we do,” said Williams.

Despite a last-minute reprieve there is more to come. Chairman Powell says the board has planned another emergency meeting Monday afternoon to determined the next steps to save the operation.

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