Vidalia leaders discuss town ambulance service

Published 11:22 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2008

VIDALIA — Much of the discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Vidalia Board of Aldermen centered on ambulance dispatch procedures.

Town attorney Jack McLemore said an incident at board member Ricky Knapp’s dry cleaning business showed a need for change.

McLemore said it took 27 minutes for an ambulance to respond to the incident.

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McLemore explained once a 911 call is placed it is routed to the appropriate ambulance service.

However, several weeks ago, Knapp called the American Medical Response service from Natchez to come to his business in Vidalia when Metro Ambulance did not respond quickly enough in his mind.

“Luckily it was not a life or death situation,” Knapp said.

The employee had dislocated her shoulder and was in a great deal of pain, Knapp said.

Mayor Hyram Copeland asked that board member Vernon Stevens and Fire Chief Jack Langston collaborate on a system that would better serve Vidalia’s residents in need of an ambulance.

While the cause for the late ambulance seemed only to be a delay, Copeland said he was confident about the town’s ability to rectify the problem.

In other news, McLemore said the land agreement between the town and the Recreation District No. 3, agreed upon on Monday, should be signed as early as today.

On Monday the deal was not signed because the recreation district’s attorney was not present.

Copeland said he was excited to see the future development of the land meant for a recreational development.

Board members also passed a motion to refuse bids for the purchase of a new garbage truck.

The decision was made when it was learned that it would be less expensive to lease a garbage truck instead.

By leasing the truck the town is not responsible for maintenance and will be able to lease a new truck every two to three years.