Florala considering having Faith

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 3, 2003

The City of Florala held a workshop Monday for discussion based on their current budget. A main topic of discussion during the meeting were proposals for help from emergency medical services

agencies in surrounding areas.

The city's current medical service, which is volunteer, would be assisted by Andalusia Rescue Squad, Opp EMS, Walton County EMS, or Faith EMS in Andalusia if approved by Florala City Council.

Florala Mayor T.C. Boyett said the council would listen to proposals from each of the systems and decide on the system which would be paid to stay in the city.

"When you come down here and pay somebody to stay here, like Faith or whoever it may be, they are going to have to collect enough money to do runs to do that," Boyett said. "Even Opp doesn't have that kind of money. I'm willing to listen to any proposal that someone has. Opp made us a proposal. I'm entertaining and certainly talking to those people, because they are good at their jobs. I want expertise here, and they can certainly work with the Florala EMS and do training with them. The idea is Opp EMS would work with Florala EMS and cover the nights. I'm talking about 12 hours a day, with a driver and an EMT."

Opp EMS's proposal would be cheaper than Andalusia Rescue Squad's proposal, Boyett said.

However, Opp's proposal would be 12 hours a day as opposed to Andalusia's 24 hours a day service.

"(Andalusia) knew we didn't have $10,500 a month," Boyett said. "And we don't."

Florala has money left over in the budget to fund the additional medical service, said Boyett.

"I think a lot of people are nervous, because there is money left at the end of the year," Boyett said. "Unless something drastic happens in September, that is."

As much as the city needs additional emergency service from a neighboring community, the choice is not totally up to Boyett.

"I asked (Walton County) if it was something they could do," said Boyett. "They seemed to think it was something they could do, but they had to go to their board and talk about it. As far as the licensee and all the other stuff, they seemed to think that it wouldn't be a problem at all. Being able to do the runner, they didn't think would be a problem also. As to whether or not the board will go along with what they want to do and what we want, that's another question."

The city is looking for a long-time commitment, Boyett said.

"I'm just interested in safety for the community like everyone else in Florala," Boyett said. "Whoever comes here is a staple and someone who can do this for a long period of time."