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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal by clicking here. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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BREAKING NEWS: Veterans Ambulance Ends Ambulance Contract With Pike County
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - Veterans Ambulance Service has given notice to the Pike County that it will be terminating its services here in Pike County on June 10, 2022.

Past Meeting Discussions

There was discussion about the upcoming contract in today's meeting and the April 21, 2022 Budget Hearing.

Reasons for the need to increase the contract were discussed in the April 21 meeting. Leadership at Veterans advised that between Covid and inflation, they are having trouble making payroll and losing $100,000 a year right now. They have asked if their payment can be increased.

Commissioners were advised they can increase for 2 trucks at $100,000 and that there is a possibility of adding a 1/2 truck to cover with an additional $300,000.

County Manager Brandon Rogers advised that we have the option of doing nothing, but Brandon strongly advised commissioners not to do nothing. He thinks that $100,000 is reasonable increased fuel costs and pay to employees.

Upson and Lamar are close to $400,000 per ambulance so he thinks we are getting a great deal with adding $100,000. We can continue with this contract, but there will be some issues and he is afraid that they will not be able to serve our county. Businesses can only sustain loss for so long before it becomes a problem. He recommended paying the extra $100,000 to cover their payroll to make this $500,000.

It is a 3 year contract that is renewable annually. Contract says that this will stay the same, but they have a 90 day termination clause. Community Ambulance is longer available here. Ameripro is serving Lamar and Upson and their prices have gone up. CM Rogers advised that he is anticipating two bids and both will be higher than the last bid process. If we rebid, Ameripro will keep the same people.

The question was asked, "What if they come back in 6 month and ask for more?

CM Rogers presented information on non-emergency calls. He said that he waiting to get these reports but doesn't have them yet. He saw a 911 report for January 2022.

They are running about 9 calls a day. Veterans' original assessment was for 80% transport rather than 40 or 50% transport rate. A lot of people are refusing transport to the hospital, and that effects their bottom line.

Discussion continued about transport. If no transport, there is no bill? Not sure, but if they do, it is NOT what it would be for a transport.

Chairman Briar Johnson is concerned that they will step out of the contract. He thinks that we should go with $500,000 for 2 trucks now and roll through the last of this contract. Commissioner Tim Daniel said that he has had no complaints and doesn't have a problem with this. Commissioner James Jenkins is good with it too.

Commissioner Jason Proctor asked about them coming back in 3 months and asking for more. Consensus that if we get to this point, we can always go out to bid then.

Consensus that $500,000 will keep the service level that we have now with 2 full-time trucks.

In today's meeting, CM Rogers said that the Board had agreed about adding the $100,000 to the contract starting in July. When he reached back to Veterans, he was advised that they had rerun some figures and $100,000 will likely not cover their losses.

Veterans asked commissioners to look back at the $300,000 which would include a half day truck. CM Rogers said that he did not see us needing this because there were only had 2 instances of mutual aid needed last month.

CM Rogers was advised that $100,000 is going to be enough to keep them here.

Chairman Johnson said that he was concerned that if we don’t raise up the $300,000, we will end up having to go out to bid on this. Suggested that we go with the $300,000 and just plan for this going out to bid in a year.

Commissioner Proctor didn’t want to give them anything more.

The CM is going to reach out and offer the $100,000 increase.


The following notification was sent out from the Board of Commissioners to Pike County Times and the Pike Journal Reporter this afternoon: "Pike County has received a letter of termination of services from Veterans Medical Transport, LLC. According to the letter of termination, the services will end on June 10, 2022. Pike County is investigating all available options to ensure the provision of the Emergency Medical Services in Pike County in view of the stated termination date."

Pike County Times will continue to monitor this situation and update the public as information becomes available.

Click here to read from the meeting in which presentations and dollar amounts were given to the county on August 25, 2020. Dollar amounts presented were as follows: Veterans bid $400,000 for a 3 year contract. Ameripro bid $635,000 for a 1 year contract, $660,000 per year for a 3 year contract. $700,00 per year for a 5 year contract.

Click here to read from the meeting in which Veterans Ambulance was chosen on September 10, 2020 in a 4-1 vote.

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