The Richmond County Board of Education will reconsider a vote that did away with ambulances at middle and high school football games after reviewing the liability that would come with the new arrangement.
The board voted July 26 to replace ambulances with emergency medical technicians on the sidelines in order to save money. The EMTs would tend to any injury and call an ambulance if necessary.
The move would have saved the school system at least $24,000 by paying two EMTs $18 an hour per game instead of paying to have an ambulance on hand.
After school officials discussed the possible ambulance response time for injured athletes and the liability to EMTs, who would be working on special assignment, staffers will recommend that the vote be reconsidered, Superintendent Frank Roberson said.
The issue will be on Tuesday’s board meeting agenda for a new vote, Roberson said.
“We certainly don’t want to put any of our students at risk,” he said.
Controller Gene Spires said the school system has budgeted $40,000 a year for ambulance service at football games.
Last year, the district used Gold Cross and Capital City EMS to cover all the games. Spires said the district will return to the previous arrangement if approved by the board Tuesday.
“We thought we could make that change and save money while still protecting our students, but it is a liability thing,” Spires said.
Deputy Superintendent Tim Spivey said earlier this week that using EMTs did not pose a danger because there is an ambulance station within five minutes of every football field.
In the past, the on-site ambulance still had to wait to take a patient to a hospital until a second ambulance arrived to cover the rest of the game.