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Greene County EMS services could shutdown Friday

Greene Co. EMS service could shutdown tomorrow
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:13 AM CDT
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GREENE COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The interim director of the Greene County EMS says the county’s ambulance service could shut down Friday night at 6 PM.

It appears EMS services are on life support. The EMS board chairman is trying to do everything in his power to keep it operating.

Chairman Joe Powell said interim director Zac Bolding doesn’t have the power to shut down EMS service.

The big issue is lack of funding. A few days ago, Bolding sent a letter to the state talking about their financial struggles and said the department is set to suspend service this week.

The small department serves all of Greene County.

Chairman Powell says he and other board members didn’t know about the letter and it caught them by surprise.

“It was a bombshell to me and other board members. We had no knowledge of that letter being sent to the state. We did not approve that letter. We did not discuss that letter at an open meeting or neither in private,” Powell said.

Zac Bolding tells us the EMS has enough funds to make payroll for tomorrow but he’s not sure if they’ll be able to get past that. Powell says an emergency meeting is supposed to take place next week.

Bolding sent WBRC this statement late Thursday evening:

“First, with all this going on, it is easy to forget, but this week is national EMS week. A week to celebrate the regular sacrifices of Paramedics and EMTs across this country. I would like to recognize the special men and women that have continued to serve with Greene County EMS this week, with full awareness that insufficient funds were currently on deposited to cover those hours worked. That is a special type of dedication, and it deserves to be front and center of any reporting on this matter.

As was posted on City of Eutaw Facebook page, through very appreciated efforts spearheaded by Eutaw Mayor Latasha Johnson, $26,000.00 was raised today from the City of Eutaw and 3 local charities.

Based on the GCEMS operational account balance and the last EMS Board account reported to me (on 5/10 by email from Board Chairman as $30,096.46), these donations will place enough funds on deposit (collectively) to satisfy payroll obligations for hours to be worked through tomorrow at 6:00PM.

Even with today’s donations, take away the current payroll and expense obligations, and the remaining available funds on deposit should amount to between $15,000-$20,000.

This has been, and continues to be, the issue:

No entity, public or private, should continue to schedule personnel for hours to be worked without known funds on deposit, or at the very least regularly occurring and expected deposits, to satisfy the payroll obligations of the scheduled hours to be worked.

To my knowledge, at this time none of the appointing municipal bodies (Greene County Commission, Eutaw, Boligee, Union, and Forkland) or any other entity has proposed an actual committed and regular contribution, of any amount, to support the operational expenses of the service.

Employees should not be asked to work, at any organization, on the hope of promises to provide for their wages. Perhaps especially, personnel who regularly put their lives at risk in service to others.

Additionally, no representation from Greene County Commission or the towns of Forkland and Boligee attended the special called emergency meeting on 5/17/22.

As I have said many times, this is not a new issue, and has been discussed for at least a year. The letter of notice provided to the state office of EMS was after consultation with OEMS compliance division and employment law attorney/consultant from GCEMS liability insurance carrier. My obligation is, above all else, to to the employees of GCEMS, the citizens of Greene County and the ADPH Office EMS, the state level authority governing EMS operations.”

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