Private ambulances transporting patients from Candler County Hospital could create a financial challenge for Candler County EMS, EMS Director Mel Kelly told commissioners last week.

While giving his regular monthly report on July 1, Kelly told commissioners that June of 2019 has been one of the slowest months for EMS since 2015, and the 18 hospital transfers in June “is considerably down from what they have been being.”

According to Kelly, the decline in calls started on June 1 when his department started noticing more private ambulances at the hospital. 

“We are consistently taking the same number of patients to the hospital as we have always taken,” Kelly told commissioners. “I just wanted you guys to be aware of what was going on and see where to take it from here. But your revenue is going to be dropping unless something happens drastically.”

County Administrator Bryan Aasheim reminded commissioners that the FY2020 budget includes EMS revenues based on historic figures, so a decline in transfers could impact the budget.

Hospital Authority Chair Larry Hadden was contacted following the meeting but had no comment.

In the county’s second July meeting on Monday, July 16, Commissioners were informed that a meeting has been set between county and hospital officials to discuss the matter further.

In other business of the July 1 meeting, Commissioners granted Ann Odom a family variance for a second mobile home on one parcel.

Commissioners also approved a work order from EMC Engineering  for professional services in connection with the Speed Limit Study and installation of speed limit signs as well as striping on county roads. 

The speed limit signs are the result of the recently completed Speed Limit Study, which will allow deputies to use RADAR on county roads. The striping is proposed for on Hiawatha, Canoochee, Cool Springs Church Road, Portal Highway and Salem Church Road. 

Cost for EMC Engineer’s services in connection with these projects is $8200.

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