September 15, 2014

Franklin County EMS Committee today announced that it has recommended Shoals Ambulance to County Commission as the preferred provider of emergency and nonemergency ambulance service to Franklin County residents. At no cost to taxpayers, Shoals Ambulance will provide consistent service across the county with the exception of Phil Campbell, which will continue to be served by the Phil Campbell Rescue Squad.

“We are excited to begin this partnership with Shoals Ambulance to provide consistent, high-quality emergency care throughout Franklin County,” said Belinda Johnson, the EMS Committee chair for Franklin County Commission. “This is the first time the county has contracted with one ambulance service to ensure every citizen in Franklin County has access to the same quality emergency medical service. Countywide ambulance regulations will help protect the health and safety of our community.”

Shoals Ambulance will place two ambulances around-the-clock in Franklin County – one each at permanent stations in Russellville and Red Bay. Additional ambulances will be placed in the county during peak times. Shoals ambulances will work closely with the emergency departments at local hospitals, as well as transport critical patients from Franklin County to larger hospitals in Florence, Huntsville and Birmingham.

The company operates the only critical care ambulance program in Northwest Alabama from its Florence headquarters. Critical care ambulances are mobile intensive care units for patients that require advanced care in transit to and from medical facilities. Previously, critical care ambulances had to be mobilized from Huntsville, Birmingham or Nashville.

Each state-of-the-art emergency vehicle is equipped with the latest lifesaving technology, including LIFEPAK cardiac monitoring devices. The company will hire approximately 25 EMTs, paramedics and supervisors to staff the ambulances.

In addition to emergency response to E-911 calls, Shoals Ambulance also will offer prescheduled medical transport to and from doctor’s visits, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and dialysis appointments with basic life support, advanced life support and critical care ambulances.

“At Shoals Ambulance, our goal is to set a higher standard of care for those we serve,” said Blake Hargett, operations supervisor at Shoals Ambulance. “I applaud the Franklin County Commission and EMS Committee for their thorough approach to this process in making sure that countywide ambulance service benefits will be long-lasting.

“Shoals Ambulance deeply invests in the communities we serve, and our patients are our top priority. We look forward to extending our high-level care to our new friends and neighbors in Franklin County.”

The process to adopt a standard countywide set of EMS rules and procedures began last November when Russellville Mayor David Grissom formed an emergency medical services committee to begin researching other counties’ ambulance ordinances and to investigate options for Franklin County. On June 9, the city of Red Bay voted to join the county ambulance contract, which will cover the majority of the county with the exception of the town of Phil Campbell. The county previously was served by a different ambulance service for each of the communities of Red Bay, Russellville and Phil Campbell.

In June, Shoals Ambulance was selected as the provider in a competitive bid process. During the contracting process, it became clear some adjustments needed to be made to reconcile the county’s ambulance ordinance with the contract awarded to Shoals Ambulance. On Aug. 18, the Franklin County Commission adopted a revised ambulance ordinance and rebid the contract. Shoals Ambulance again was selected to provide service.

Shoals Ambulance has provided excellent medical transport services to communities in the state of Alabama since 2012. Shoals Ambulance is the exclusive E-911 ambulance provider for Lauderdale County and the City of Florence in North Alabama. Shoals Ambulance provides nonemergency transport options to Muscle Shoals and Birmingham, specializing in the highest level of comfort and patient safety. Shoals Ambulance is a regional branch of Priority Ambulance.

Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Priority Ambulance provides the highest level of clinical excellence in emergency and nonemergency medical care. Throughout its national service area, more than 300 highly trained paramedics, EMTs and telecommunicators staff state-of-the-art ambulances with the latest medical equipment and technology.

In addition to the communities it serves in Alabama, Priority Ambulance provides emergency and nonemergency medical transport options to Knox and Blount counties and is the official emergency ambulance service provider in the cities of Loudon and Lenoir City in Loudon County in East Tennessee. Priority Ambulance also operates in Utica, N.Y., as Kunkel Ambulance.