Medical airlifting discussed

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NATCHEZ — One Adams County Supervisor suggested the county’s first responder coverage could be improved if the county participated in a service that provides medical airlifts to county residents who need them.

Supervisor David Carter, who has in the last month driven conversations at the board table about how to improve ambulance response time in the county, said he recently met with a representative of the AirEvac air ambulance service as part of an effort to find out how first response services can be improved.

A total of 135 residents have had to be airlifted out of Adams County this year, he said.

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“I can think of five people I know who have been airlifted,” he said. “About two-thirds of them were not people who were lifted from the scene of an accident, but were people moved from one hospital to another.”

The Town of Ferriday and the City of Vidalia have both entered into agreements with AirEvac that cover residents who need to be airlifted, Carter said, as have several Mississippi counties.

“We are trying to make solid improvements with our ambulance providers and hospital, and this is something we need,” Carter said.

Though no firm costs have been put on paper, Carter said estimates from the company placed it at a cost of approximately $12 per household to the county.

Supervisor’s President Darryl Grennell said the company had approached the county several years ago, but at that time discussed things on a per-person basis that would have cost the county “a lot of money.”

Several government entities charge a first responder tax that help underwrite such services, Carter said.

“I am not suggesting we do that, but first responders is something the government should be involved with,” he said.

On the theme of improving first responders service, Supervisor Angela Hutchins said she and Supervisor Calvin Butler recently met with representatives of the ambulance services about how to improve response time, and Butler suggested during those meetings placing ambulances at fire stations so they don’t have to drive as far.

In other news:

-The board heard from resident Donald Cameron.

Cameron’s business in northern Adams County recently burned down, and he said he believes the fire was intentional because someone didn’t want him in the neighborhood.

The supervisors promised to meet with county fire investigator Buddy Frank to find out more about the situation.

-The board met in executive session to discuss legal strategy in two lawsuits.

The supervisors also met behind closed doors to discuss the possible sale or lease of two separate properties, one of which board attorney Scott Slover said was the former International Paper property, which the county now owns.