Florala to team up with E-911 for ambulance service

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The City of Florala agreed Tuesday to partner with E-911 in seeking advanced life support ambulance services to serve the area.

City attorney Wes Laird said the county’s E-911 board reached out to the city after Florala sought bids for services.

“The problem we face is the limited number of runs required here, which makes an ALS ambulance service somewhat not feasible,” Laird said. “It’s a situation that has to be subsidized with some sort of additional support.”

Laird said there are ongoing discussions about an ALS ambulance being placed in Florala, with backup provided when that one is on a call. Laird said the city is being asked to provide a bay, utilities, and $1,000 per month for the 24/7 service.

However, E-911 recently suspended Opportunity EMS after the ambulance service failed to provide ALS service at a Code 3 event.

“That is outside of our control,” Laird said.

Laird said the city’s agreement would be with E-911 for ambulance services.

“That doesn’t prohibit anyone from calling another ambulance service voluntarily,” he said.

Opportunity EMS owner Haywood Nawlin has said he would continue to cover Florala, despite his company’s suspended status, if people called Opportunity EMS directly.

Council Marvin Williford questioned whether the city could receive a portion of the ad valorem tax allocated for emergency services.

“That’s something we’ll continue to discuss and navigate,” Laird said. At present, he said, the monies are split 18 ways and each entity gets approximately $36,000 per year. However, he said, it is more likely the ambulance service would receive the funds.

The E-911 board is expected to let bids after a special called meeting set for 10 a.m. on Tues., Oct. 17.