AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The full EMS council was overwhelming in its support, voting 15 to 1 in favor of recommending Central EMS as Richmond County’s ambulance zone provider to the state.
“It may be more money, we may have to eat the fish, I don’t know, but I just want Augusta to have the type of service that it should have and deserves,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
The council scored Central EMS’ application higher over two other companies including local provider Gold Cross. Central EMS has not quoted a price to the city, and as of right now that dollar amount still is not known.
“We have to sit down with the politicians, we have to come to a decision, here is what we need for the response times, for the citizens, here’s the money that’s going to take to do it, and what budget can we work with.” said Central EMS President Gary Coker.
Gold Cross had a contract before commissioners calling for a $1.9 million subsidy, and the company is wondering how the council can make a recommendation before a deal is in place.
“They’re really putting the cart before the horse on this one and trying to award the zone to someone who can’t do it without a subsidy,” said Gold Cross Vice President Steven Vincent.
But Commissioner Bobby Williams believes the city and Central EMS will come to an agreement.
“We’re going to try our best to get a contract that is reasonable for Augusta and try and make this thing work,” said Commissioner Williams.
The state now gets the recommendation from the council. From there, it can accept it, reject it, or there can be a hearing in front of the Public Health commissioner.