Orange Beach to start ambulance service

By: Crystal Cole/ Islander Editor
Posted 11/13/18

The City of Orange Beach voted at its last meeting to expand services of the fire department to include medical transportation.

The city plans to purchase two ambulances and will hire six new …

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Orange Beach to start ambulance service

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The City of Orange Beach voted at its last meeting to expand services of the fire department to include medical transportation.

The city plans to purchase two ambulances and will hire six new firefighters to man the vehicles on top of the paramedics already in the department.

The city is currently serviced by MedStar, and Mayor Tony Kennon made sure the company knew the vote wasn’t an indication of its service.

“Our vote is no way a reflection on the performance or lack of in any way,” Kennon said. “It’s strictly we have the financial wherewithal to provide the services. Our goal is to have second-to-none service for our residents and our emergency people.”

The ambulances combined will cost more than $800,000 but will take several months to build according to Fire Chief Justin Pearce. The city finance director hopes money generated by the new service will help offset the additional personnel costs.

Traffic congestion on Canal Road will ideally be alleviated with the widening project currently underway. This service will capitalize on those changes, and having a service anchored in Orange Beach will further lower response times.

“It’s almost impossible for an outside agency to provide- just strictly from the logistics of moving south through the traffic and moving about with all that’s going on in the summer,” Kennon said. “This is no reflection on MedStar in any negative way. It’s just our ability to do something most folks aren’t able to do for our citizens.”

The city also voted to:

-Authorize the single source purchase of $652,000 worth of dredge material from the Army Corps of Engineers. The purchase will enable the city to procure a significant amount of beach-quality sand from the Corps at a large discount.

-Accept the donation of a piano from the Friends of the Arts.

-Authorize the execution of a task order with McCollough Architecture, Inc., to provide schematic design for a Coastal Resources Office Building in an amount not to exceed $10,800.