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Gold Cross withdraws request to be primary ambulance provider in Richmond County

Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 5:57 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 1:55 AM
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Gold Cross announced Monday it is withdrawing its request to become the primary provider for ambulance services in Richmond County.

“After a successful meeting with the city of Augusta, Gold Cross EMS has notified the Region VI EMS Office that Gold Cross is withdrawing its July 25, 2012, request for ambulance zone modification,” the company said in a statement.

Gold Cross’ request would have allowed the company to control 911 calls in Rich­mond County, whether they had a contract with the city or not. Because the fire department is also a co-primary zone provider, the city controls the calls and subcontracts to Gold Cross.

During a meeting Monday involving City Administrator Fred Russell, Gold Cross owner Bo Pounds and Augusta-Richmond County Fire Chief Chris James, the three decided to continue being co-providers, Russell said.

“We had a good conversation and came to a mutual agreement that a co-zone is appropriate at this time,” he said.

When Gold Cross made its request, James and city attorney Jody Smitherman expressed concern the city wouldn’t have input on how EMS service is run.

In a meeting last week, the East Central Georgia EMS Council postponed action on Gold Cross’ request to allow the fire department time to build an argument against the change. James did not know of the request until Oct. 19.

During last week’s meeting, council members were told that any change would open the zoning process to all ambulance companies interested in becoming primary provider. Smitherman said in that case, the city would push to be the primary provider.

Russell said he attended that meeting because he was concerned that a private provider would be able to run the calls without government input.

While speaking to Russell and Pounds on Monday, James, who was contacted by phone, said he maintained the position that the fire department needs to remain a primary zone provider, “so citizens have an input in their EMS service,”

He said he learned that Gold Cross was withdrawing its request after the meeting.

“I’m glad they made this decision,” he said.

Comments (7) Add comment
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tgentry
231
Points
tgentry 11/05/12 - 07:58 pm
2
0
Good News

I'm glad that Gold Cross has decided not to pursue this issue. I just hope Chief James stays on top of the issues that are with Gold Cross and their accountability.

PBrig822
64
Points
PBrig822 11/05/12 - 10:33 pm
0
0
Emergency services committee

There needs to be a committee to hold both accountable.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/06/12 - 08:15 am
1
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Excuse Me did I miss something

"Russell said he attended that meeting because he was concerned that a private provider would be able to run the calls without government input."

Why wasn't the same logic applied by him to the TEE Center mess?

Conservative Man
5564
Points
Conservative Man 11/06/12 - 08:22 am
1
0
Russell is scared now of the

Russell is scared now of the pesky citizens digging into this. Wouldn't need to dig too far and he knows it.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 11/06/12 - 09:22 am
0
0
Bo Pounds and
Unpublished

Gold Cross are of the HIGHEST integrity. When your gubmint gets involved and screws everything up ( which it will), Fred Russell and Chief James will lay ALL blame at the feet of Gold Cross. That's what gubmints do. It's their job.

Sweet son
10398
Points
Sweet son 11/06/12 - 01:05 pm
0
0
@tgentry

We will have to wait and see how firefighters run an ems service! I still want a Gold Cross ambulance! Where are Chief James' two ambulances and are they being manned?

tgentry
231
Points
tgentry 11/06/12 - 06:13 pm
0
0
@Sweet son

Once again, who do you think the people are that are manning the Gold Cross Ambulances? As I said before, They are mostly Richmond County Firemen. Wow, why cant you get that? Also this is not really about the two Fire Dept. Ambulances. This is about accountability. I do not need a private company coming in and making a monopoly of our EMS. This hurts not only the other Ambulance providers, but also any citizen input. Do you not understand that once a Ambulance company becomes the primary zone provider, no one can tell them anything?

They can run and operate in any means they want. Right now I can call and get answers from Chief James if I have a problem with EMS. If Gold Cross was the primary provider, I could call them and they could refuse to let me know anything. There would be no open records request as they are not a Government controlled company. We need accountability thats all I'm trying to get across. PBrig822 quoted

Emergency services committee

There needs to be a committee to hold both accountable.

I would agree to this as well.

PBrig822
64
Points
PBrig822 11/07/12 - 08:58 pm
0
0
Rescue 1 is staffed 24/7 at

Rescue 1 is staffed 24/7 at eng co 13 on lumpkin rd and rescue 2 is not staffed is at eng co 15 off flowing wells rd. i think the chief needs to be more cooperative with working with Goldcross and I am sure things would get farther.

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