First responders in West Alabama are shining a light on Pickens County, where a lack of ambulances to dispatch led to fatal consequences on Christmas.

A local paramedic, Vicky Sullivan McCrory, took to Facebook Tuesday to tell the story of a father she said died on Christmas night because it took so long for medical help to get to him.

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In her heartfelt post, McCrory said the man suffered a medical emergency and there was not a single ambulance available to dispatch in the county, no helicopters were available and the nearest aid was coming from Tuscaloosa.

"We made it there just in time to watch him die," McCrory said.

She said the man's sons, eight and 16, were also there.

McCrory said the Pickens County Ambulance Service has been strapped for cash since the Pickens County Medical Center in Carrolton closed in March 2020.

"Pickens Co Ambulance needs help. So far we have been unsuccessful in finding any," she wrote. "We can barely afford to staff one ambulance."

The Christmas tragedy highlights the need for more emergency care in Pickens County and the deeper issue of healthcare access in West Alabama.

For more on the situation as it develops, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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