Augusta, Ga (WJBF) Station 9 behind me on Walton Way one of three fire stations designated to house city ambulances under the agreement with Gold Cross the city now suspending city ambulance transports the impact on public safety a very important question.
Last year Augusta and Gold Cross came to an agreement for Ambulance Service.
The city would pay Gold Cross a subsidy and the city would put three Fire Department ambulances in service, but now commissioners suspending those ambulances.
“So, we we’re surprised to hear that so I guess at the juncture we’re just waiting to hear from Augusta on what the transition process is,” said Vince Brogdon, CEO of Gold Cross.
Commissioners taking the action based on what they read in the Fire Department’s needs assessment, it said the ambulances are an explosive issue, the Firefighters Association calling this a good move because one of its biggest problems with Chief James is mandatory overtime.
“Chief James went to the commission when they started this venture and said there was plenty of staffing to cover it well, they came on line and mandatory overtime started,” said Philip Brigham, President of the Augusta Professional Firefighters Association.
But other commissioners are not in favor of the suspending city ambulances.
“Well I don’t think it’s a very wise move for the city to take for a variety points of view finically or public safety,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
Gold Cross is designated by the state as Augusta’s ambulance zone provider the company saying service will not suffer without the city ambulances. We have at least 40 ambulances in the streets everyday if we in Richmond County, so I mean if we have to pull one to be able to respond to a 9-1-1- call that’s what we’ll do,” said Brogdon.
Will coverage be impacted at all do you think?
“No, not one bit,” said Brogdon.
But what about the agreement between Gold Cross and with the city.
“We’ll reach out and see what the next steps are,” said Brogdon.
“I asked Brogdon with the city suspending its transports would Gold Cross rates have to go up or would the cities subsidy have to go up at this point he said he could not answer yes or no, in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.