Health Care

More | | | Editor

Employees will purchase Gold Cross EMS

Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 6:51 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 12:14 PM
  • Follow Local Business

Gold Cross Emergency Medical Service is being sold, but the new owners are already in the building.

Gold Cross EMS owner Bo Pounds (left) is transferring ownership of the company to Chief Financial Officer Frank Lindley and top officers in the company and sharing dividends with other employees as he gradually sells the company to the workers. Pounds recently established a separate corporation for his ambulance museum and is standing in front of the first emergency vehicle he purchased: a 1968 Chevrolet that he bought 46 years ago for $5,800.  BARRY PASCHAL/STAFF
BARRY PASCHAL/STAFF
Gold Cross EMS owner Bo Pounds (left) is transferring ownership of the company to Chief Financial Officer Frank Lindley and top officers in the company and sharing dividends with other employees as he gradually sells the company to the workers. Pounds recently established a separate corporation for his ambulance museum and is standing in front of the first emergency vehicle he purchased: a 1968 Chevrolet that he bought 46 years ago for $5,800.

Bo Pounds is selling his privately owned ambulance service to the company’s 270 employees, a process that will take place gradually over the next 10 years.

“Most of it, I’m giving to them,” Pounds said Wednesday. “I just really wanted to take care of the employees.”

News of the sale went public earlier in the week when Gold Cross’ chief financial officer, Frank Lindley, was quoted in a story in The Augusta Chronicle saying that “the firm might soon be sold.”

Rumors began to fly about who would buy the company, which provides service under contract to Columbia, Rich­mond and Jefferson counties.

“I have no intention of ever selling my business to an outside party,” Pounds said in a news release e-mailed Wednesday morning, later adding that he has rejected several such overtures in recent years.

Instead, he plans to vest employees with stock in the company gradually until it belongs to them in 10 years. The service is worth about $8 million, Pounds said.

He already has transferred 25 percent ownership of the company to top officers, including Lindley and Chief Executive Officer Vince Brogdon, Pounds said. Other employees will receive annual dividends based on their years of service.

“Key employees will own the stock, but they have to share the dividends with the employees,” Pounds said.

As the employees gradually purchase the company, the money will go to Pounds’ four daughters. All of them are Marietta, Ga., residents and none had an interest in operating the company, he said.

Pounds, an Augusta native, has a home in Marietta, but since the death of his wife about five years ago, he spends most of his time on his farm in Greensboro, Ga.

The transfer has been in the works for about four years, said Pounds, who is 75.

“Bo has his CPAs and tax attorneys work it out so nobody’s being blind-sided,” Lindley said.

The company, which has 42 ground ambulances and two helicopter ambulances, is in negotiations with Richmond County about continuing the ambulance service contract. The contract was the subject of the discussions at a Public Safety Committee meeting Monday at which the sale information was mentioned.

The Augusta Commission is scheduled Tuesday to vote on giving Gold Cross notice that it plans to send the ambulance service contract out for bids.

Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department Chief Chris James had complained about the terms of the contract, under which the fire department and Gold Cross are “co-primary providers” for emergency ambulance service in Richmond County.

James failed to get enough commissioners in a committee meeting Monday to approve the notice, which means the issue will go to the commission for consideration.

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Frita's Boss
180
Points
Frita's Boss 01/31/13 - 02:04 pm
2
0
Bums

Our commissioners are worthless.

Your ONE job is to go to meetings concerning our city and VOTE.

Congratulations Mr. Pounds.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 01/31/13 - 06:12 pm
0
0
Bo Pounds
Unpublished

is a very good man and I'm proud to call him my friend.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 02/02/13 - 06:13 pm
1
0
Happy news for once!

Glad to hear that employees of a local business are being well taken care of. Now that there's talk that the Richmond County commission might seek bidders to provide EMS, these same employees must be feeling anxious. I hope things work out for them.

Back to Top

Top headlines

More than 2,000 get meal at annual dinner

More than 800 volunteers served a hot meal to more than 2,000 homeless people at James Brown Arena on Saturday at the Bridge Ministry's annual Thanksgiving Dinner.
Search Augusta jobs