County Ambulance Oversight Committee Discusses Dispatching


Published on November 14 2017 4:42 pm
Last Updated on November 14 2017 4:42 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Ambulance Oversight Committee is hopeful progress is being made on better handling ambulance calls.

Under the current scenario, Abbott EMS is the ambulance provider for the county with Jasper County Ambulance Service handling mutual aid calls. Jasper County handles calls when Abbott units are assigned on other calls.

However, Jasper County has been responding to calls when Abbott gets down to one unit in the county. That has meant, though, that Jasper County is being called in frequently without getting to answer a call.

Committee members Tuesday heard that Jasper County Ambulance was summoned 27 times since Effingham City-County Ambulance Service closed its doors on October 11, but was later called off almost every time when Abbott got a second unit free.

After some discussion, ambulance committee members recommended switching back to calling Jasper County only when Abbott has no rigs available in the county, rather than one.

Jasper County Ambulance Manager Daniel Alzate said they hardly received any calls when the guidline called for waiting until there were no units available, and the times they were called were worth the investment of time and money.

There was also discussion about problems city and county dispatchers have, knowing what rigs Abbott had on duty due to different  call signs. It was agreed to check with MABAS to see about having standardized call signs that local dispatchers, Abbott EMS and Jasper County could all use

Meantime, work continues to get Abbott equipped so local dispatchers could identify where ambulance rigs are located. The tracking system would cost $50/unit/month for seven units. Abbott is working to get a system in place that local dispatchers could use at no cost but, until that time, the month-to-month fee is being considered for the tracking system. 

A concern is a lack of revenue in the 911 system, so Effingham city and county might have to foot the bill.