CRISIS: Greene County Soon to Lose Ambulance Service Over Lack of Funding
Ambulance service will soon be unavailable in Greene County as local funding for Emergency Medical Services has run out, according to a letter shared by a newspaper there.
The Greene County Independent, a locally owned paper in Eutaw, Alabama, uploaded a letter from Zac Bolding, the interim director of Greene County EMS, outlining their financial woes.
The letter was to Jamie Gray, the director of Alabama's State EMS, to notify him that ambulance services in Greene County would be suspended on or before Friday at 6 p.m.
In the letter, Bolding said Greene County EMS is "the only agency which provides emergency medical response, treatment, and/or ambulance transport within Greene County," but that they no longer have funds to operate or pay their employees.
"I am writing to provide official notice that Greene County EMS (aka Greene County Ambulance Service) is currently scheduled to suspend EMS operations effective Friday, May 20th, 2022, at 1800 hrs.," he wrote. "However it may become necessary to cease operations prior to this date and time, without further notification."
There is no professional, paid fire department in Greene County, and Bolding said the EMS answers essentially all medical and trauma calls in a 660-square-mile area.
Bolding said 28 miles of interstate and four major highways, 42 miles of railroad and three rivers pass through the county, most of which is rural, and the ambulance service is badly needed.
Even so, without consistent funding from local governments, the county EMS will soon be unable to satisfy its payroll obligations.
Bolding said even minor medical issues may become deadly if some ambulance service is not available in the area and asked the state EMS office to do whatever it can to help the service in Greene County.
"In addition to the effects on future trauma patients, the impact of having no dedicated EMS response agency for such a large area will have a definite impact on patients experiencing even some of the least complex of medical emergencies," Bolding warned. "I respectfully ask that the OEMS consider any contingency planning, guidance or directives it considers relevant in order to best mitigate the impact of this EMS operational emergency and public health crisis."