Shelby Co. expanding EMS services, buying 4 new ambulances per year

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:17 PM CST
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SHELBY CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County leaders are working to make sure residents don’t have to wait very long when they call for an ambulance. The county is now spending more than $2 million on ambulances.

The county is buying four new ambulances each year and offering money to departments that cover their own.

“We have developed two different incentive programs,” Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins said. “One that addresses operational funds, and one that addresses the capitol needs that comes with being able to provide emergency medical transport.”

New ambulances are coming to different Shelby County fire departments and districts. The Shelby County Commission is now spending $1.5 million on four new trucks each year.

“We are going to see a drastic improvement in our wait times,” Scroggins said. “Lowering those wait times and providing service to our residents.”

It takes around 13 to 15 ambulances to cover the county.

“We need about six or seven more additional new ambulances to the capacity and then we will start getting into replacements,” Scroggins said. “We have some areas that are going to get into the service, so it’ll be adding increased coverage. There will also be some capacity issues that we are trying to meet. The places that are increasing the coverage area, maybe they currently don’t have coverage, those areas will get the top priorities for these ambulances.”

After those departments get their new ambulances, Scroggins said they’ll spend money on replacements.

“We will go to our existing departments, whether it be Cahaba Valley, North Shelby, or Hoover. We’re looking at those areas and trying to supplement and replace ambulances that they have currently.”

The county is also spending over $800,000 by giving departments $1,000 per square mile that their unit covers, to help with their costs.

“We feel like this is a significant improvement for our residents,” Scroggins said.

He said they have already ordered the new ambulances for 2023 and 2024, but there is no telling when they will become available. He said they can take up to two years to come in.

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