Four Shelby County cities working together to provide better emergency services

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 7:56 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Several Shelby County cities are now working together to improve emergency services to help you.

Since COVID, the health care industry - specifically emergency transport - is struggling with fewer employees.

Now, city leaders across Shelby County are coming together to address those health care issues.

Pelham city leaders say they are working with Alabaster, Calera, and Helena to get more ambulances and more first responders to ride in them.

Gretchen DiFante, the Pelham city manager said, “If we try to fix that system by ourselves, it’s not going to work.”

These cities recognize the need to work together to get the results neighbors need, which is, when they need an ambulance, one is available.

“We have put out a request for proposals to try to see what the interest is and the ability to deliver on those transport services for our four cities,” DiFante said.

As these issues continue, many fire departments across the county are being impacted.

Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid said response times are increasing, as well as the level of care and providers.

“We used to hire only firefighter paramedics at Pelham and then after COVID, there’s a lot fewer firefighter paramedics out there,” Reid said.

“And as they work to address the health care worker shortage, Shelby County leaders are working to purchase more ambulances.”

City leaders hope to be able to move forward with offering more efficient emergency services in October 2024.

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