Decatur EMS shows renovated headquarters at open house

Published 6:23 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday morning, Decatur County EMS hosted an open house so community members could see the newly renovated facilities.

“The only thing I’m sorry didn’t happen was someone bringing in a camera on day one so people could see the comparison,” said Decatur County Commission chairman Frank Loeffler. “It was god-awful. I admire the EMS workers who worked under those conditions. I couldn’t have done it.”

The five-year contract with Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta went into effect Sept. 1. The contract was approved by the County Commission in May of this year. The process of deciding to use and select a privatized EMS service in the county took about two years, said Decatur County Administrator Gary Breedlove.

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“For some it has probably seemed like a painful project, but we’ve done a lot of assessment about who we wanted to use,” Breedlove said.

Breedlove said that initially there was pushback on using a privatized service, but then EMS employees started lobbying to use Grady EMS.

The contract includes Grady providing three new ambulances and training for employees.

Vice President of Grady EMS Bill Compton thanked the Commission on behalf of Grady and thanked the community for the opportunity.

“It’s a difficult process,” Compton said, “but were here to stay. We’d just like to say, ‘thank you.’”

Thursday marked the 13-year anniversary of 9/11, which Georgia State Representative Darlene Taylor acknowledged, noting the “solemnness” of the anniversary.

“The privatization is what’s working in this case,” Taylor said. “I’m very proud of the community for doing that.”

Breedlove said that the workers are still making adjustments, but that they are pleased with the facilities.

“Partnering with Grady pushed us forward to do something well overdue with the building renovation,” Breedlove said.