The County Commission approved 13-0 Monday to select A&E Emergency Services LLC as Franklin County’s new ambulance service provider.
Commissioners Carolyn Montoye-Wiseman, Barbara Finney and Scottie Riddle were absent from the meeting.
Questions surfaced about how a transition period would be handled when A&E replaces the current first-call ambulance service provider, American Medical Response.
County Attorney Ben Lynch confirmed that AMR has been serving the county through a resolution that made it the first-call ambulance service, supported as needed by A&E.
The commission agreed that, although it could take several weeks to work through contract details to have A&E take over the helm, AMR was not officially operating under a contract, therefore it would make no difference if A&E took over under the same conditions.
Ben Smith, paramedic and owner of A&E, said his operations need to be expanded to fully serve the county, but his employees are willing to work overtime until A&E is fully equipped and staffed to accommodate full-time service countywide.
He assured the commission that A&E would be able to handle Franklin County’s ambulance needs.
Joshua Spencer, AMR regional director, told the commission that if the change didn’t take place before July 1, his company would have to renew its license to operate and would incur additional expenses to do so.
He asked that the county pay the additional expenses, estimated to be about $1,500, if that were to happen.
Spencer said AMR personnel would be transferring to other communities where the company is already established since its services in Franklin County would change.
However, he said if it were to take longer than July 1 to make the transition, AMR would be willing to accommodate the county’s service requests.
After a week of carefully examining proposals submitted by three prospective ambulance services, the Franklin County Emergency Services Board selected A&E last week as its official top recommendation to be the county’s new EMS provider. The County Commission then followed through by approving the recommendation on Monday.
Smith expressed gratitude to the Emergency Services Board following the conclusion of last week’s meeting.
“I am humbled and honored for their vote of confidence,” he said.
He added that A&E looks forward to serving the people of Franklin County as their emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider.