Decatur County votes to consider service contract from Grady EMS

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners voted 5-1 Monday at a special called meeting to prepare a contract with Grady EMS of Atlanta to provide services for Decatur County.

Commissioner Russell Smith voted against the motion.

“If we were only considering Decatur County, certainly EMS Grady looks to me like they have the best proposal,” Smith said. “Unfortunately we have to consider the wishes also of Seminole County.”

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Smith cited Seminole County helping Decatur County in several ways, including garbage disposal.

“I just feel like we need to honor their wishes because they have told us they are not interested in going with Grady,” Smith said.

Seminole County Commissioners voted at a recent meeting to award their county’s EMS to Mid Georgia, pending Decatur County’s decision. However, Decatur County will not be entering into a regional agreement with Seminole County and will be negotiating a contract for Decatur County alone.

“After reviewing and discussing all proposals for almost six weeks, we felt that Grady offered the best proposal for our county,” Decatur County Chairman Frank Loeffler said. “The proposed cost for Decatur County alone would be a savings of almost $120,000 per year, which equates to over half a million dollars over five years. We would also have an additional ambulance with Grady EMS, as opposed to

Mid Georgia.”

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the contract at next Tuesday’s County Commission meeting.

Grady EMS, the oldest ambulance service in the country, offered bids of $250,000 per year for three ambulances in Decatur County. They also offered $200,000 for one full-time ambulance and a 12-hour ambulance in Seminole County for a five-year contract.

Other proposals were received from Mid Georgia and Gold Star. Mid Georgia submitted a three to five year proposal for two ambulances in Decatur County for a bid price of $369,642 per year and one full-time ambulance along with a 12-hour ambulance in Seminole County for a bid price of $205,000 per year. Mid Georgia would also pay utility costs for EMS headquarters.

Gold Star’s three to five year contract bid included two ambulances in Decatur County for $240,000 per year and one ambulance in Seminole County for $180,000 per year, with one shared ambulance between the two counties.

All proposals included new ambulance units. However, Grady EMS proposed to furnish new units initially, then refurbish and remount Decatur County’s current boxes on new trucks. The three companies each offer excellent employee benefits, including paid vacation, sick leave, health insurance and retirement plans. Grady EMS also offers tuition reimbursement for employees. All three services proposed paying their own fuel costs.

Grady EMS is the largest EMS volume provider in Georgia, handling more than 100,00 calls annually in Fulton County. Grady EMS plans to extend its EMS services in other Georgia counties in the near future. Mid Georgia offers EMS services in rural Georgia counties, including Bibb, Pike, Muscogee, Twiggs, Cook, Mitchell, Crawford, Upson and Lamar. Gold Star only provides transport services.