Prisoner medical transport bids start

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
At last weeks city council meeting Mayor Howard Shell announced that the city would be accepting bids for ambulance service for the city of Atmore.
The bids apply only to the transport of inmates from the city jail to the hospital.
Since the establishment of another ambulance service in town last year, the city made an agreement with Atmore Ambulance and Kelley's Ambulance that would allow the city to rotate calls for service when transport was needed for the city jail.
"With two services in town we have to be as fair and equitable as we can be," Shell said. "For years the city has used the ambulance service and had no charges because we do their dispatching for them, but recently we received a bill for the transport of a city jail occupant to the hospital."
Shell said the move had to be made in order to look out for the city's best interest. The city is currently working to put the bids together and plans to present it at the next city council meeting.
"I am questioning why there has to be a bid when we rotate calls," Pat Still, owner of Atmore Ambulance said. "I don't understand the reasoning for a contract when I never charge the city for transports from the jail to the hospital."
Joey Kelley, owner of Kelley's Ambulance said the bid only applies to the inmates in the city jail that get sick while they are in custody and feels that it is a good idea to have a bid.
"I think it is a good idea," Kelley said. "The city is a business. They are trying to get a good rate on a service that is provided for them just like any other business would. We need both ambulance services in town to cover the area. Since Kelley's has opened, we haven't had to call an outside service in to help. The people of Atmore benefit from having us both and knowing that there is an ambulance in town for their needs."

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