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Long County shopping ambulance service
Commission weighs safety issues
Long County Commissioners are trying to decide if Liberty Regional EMS should continue providing ambulance services in the county. - photo by Stock photo

The Long County Commission has not yet decided which Emergency Medical Services company will serve as the county’s provider in the future. The commission discussed the issue at length during its April 2 meeting, but has not yet been updated on the bidding process.
“We have no update on bidding out the EMS service at this point,” Vice Chairman David Richardson said.
Commissioners decided at their March meeting that the county would accept bids from qualified companies to provide services for the county.
Currently, Liberty Regional EMS works in Long County.
Liberty/Long County EMS Director Robyn Todd told the commission that a grant that had been applied for to purchase a new ambulance had been delayed. She said she was told that a decision would be made by the end of March, but issues with the approving  board have held it up.
The mentoring program at Smiley Elementary School is going well, according to Todd, and 44 blood-pressure checks have been provided at the Long County Senior Citizens Center.
Todd’s office is sponsoring a Long County Relay for Life team, and several fundraisers are in the works.
Gerald Blocker asked about the speed guidelines for an ambulance responding to an emergency call. Todd said that for safety purposes, a unit would not exceed the posted speed limit by more than 10 mph.
Blocker said that residents with Glennville addresses in the community’s Sand Hill area have been reporting problems with 911 call confusion. According to Blocker, calls from those residents go to the Tattnall County 911 Center and then are diverted to the Wiregrass 911 Center that disptches calls for Long County.
Richardson said he also is aware of this problem, which, as far as he knows, doesn’t apply to all Glennville addresses. Richardson said efforts are being made to correct it.
Regarding the Wiregrass E-911 Center, Richardson said it’s accepting applications, and efforts will be made to hire from within the county. Applications may be turned in at the courthouse or at the center, which is in Darien.
According to Todd’s monthly report for March, EMS units responded to 95 calls. It took an average of 11 minutes for ambulances to arrive on scene. For non-emergency calls, the average response time was just under 12 minutes. The busiest day of the week for calls was Wednesday and that the slowest day was Monday.
Air-Evac Life Team Program Director Donald Mixon, who also was at the meeting, told commissioners that his helicopters made three emergency flights in March, picking up and transporting people out of Long County to an emergency medical facility.
Blocker asked whether the county has a full-time EMA director and he was told that the current director, Darrell Ballance, is a part-time employee.
Blocker said the annual Community Safety Awareness Day is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Long County Volunteer Fire Department Station 4. It is free to the public, and lunch will be provided.
In other business:
• County attorney Jay Swindell said the newly elected county commissions likely would take office following state certification of the May 7 general election.
• Commissioners heard a presentation on solid waste and water by county engineer Trent Long, who said that the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-Phase 2 MS4 Stormwater Permit is due. Long said he would get with the commission to obtain the information to renew it.
• Orkin inspector Ryan Belfrey told commissioners that the courthouse is infested with termites, and he recommends additional work. The commission did not authorize Orkin to do any additional work, but agreed to look into the matter.
• Code Enforcement Officer Steve Adkins said he has asked the public to call the code-enforcement office at 545-3683 about households that have two or more vicious dogs. Those unsure about the county’s requirements for owning a dog also should call.
• Long County Recreation Department Director Michelle Rogers reported that more than 700 people attended a recent mud-bog fundraiser. Also, Saturday is opening day for baseball season at the recreation department, and more than 400 children have registered for baseball, T-ball or softball.
• Commissioners Wallace Shaw, Clifton DeLoach, Andy Fuller and Richardson attended the meeting. Bobby Walker was not present.

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