County Paramedics Breathe Sigh of Relief as Privatization Plan Fizzles

Source: Larry Hobbs, Emergency Management, November 11, 2015

Glynn County Finance Committee members were all business Tuesday at the Harold Pate Building in dismissing a plan to privatize the county’s emergency medical services as a cost-saving measure. … In the end, Ours determined that any potential cost savings the measure might attain would be offset by the drop in the level of both fire and EMS service to the county. … One private EMS company estimated the county could save up to $800,000 annually by privatizing the county service. It would also be the private EMS contractor’s responsibility to collect for unpaid ambulance rides and other EMS medical fees, of which the county is now owed an estimated $1.5 million. The matter of privatizing EMS will still go before the county commission for discussion at the Nov. 19 meeting. But it will go there without the support of either the finance committee or the county manager.


Ga. Firefighters Don’t Want EMS Privatized
Source: Larry Hobbs, Firehouse, November 10, 2015

The finance committee could still vote to recommend the county send out bids to private EMS companies for a cost comparison. A final decision would rest with the county commission, which instructed Ours in May to research and determine whether it would be cost effective to privatize the county’s EMS service. But Ours has concluded that any potential savings would not be worth the shortcomings to the county in service provided. … Because all of Glynn’s emergency medical personnel also are firefighters, each fire station responds to a fire call with fire truck and an ambulance, two people in each. That puts four firefighters on the scene, the minimum number of firefighters needed to engage a structure fire as recommended by the National Fire Protection Administration. Having a private EMS firm would eliminate the dual service available from each station, thus requiring two firefighters from another truck at another station to arrive in support, Ours said.