Ambulance panel gets to work on contract

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Eastern Carroll County Ambulance District Commission met with Southern Paramedic Services operations director Allen “Bubba” Usrey on Wednesday night to begin discussions on a contract for emergency ambulance service in the district.

Southern Paramedic Service Inc., headquartered in Brinkley, was awarded the contract last week after submitting a bid of $395,000 a year to keep two ambulances in eastern Carroll County on a 24-hour basis.

The next step is to draw up a contract agreeable to both sides. The commission had set a Nov. 30 deadline to have the contract signed.

The contract is expected to be a two-year agreement, with a mutual option to extend the deal for three additional years.

At Wednesday’s meeting, commission chairman David Stoppel presented a partial draft contract based on the

commission’s initial request for proposals and information from Southern’s response to the RFP.

Stoppel said he spent about 14 hours preparing the partial draft and estimated it will take him three or four hours to complete the draft. After reviewing the agreement with Usrey, it will then be sent to the commission’s attorney, Curtis Hogue of Fayetteville, as well as Southern’s legal counsel, before being finalized.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, commissioner Amy Leivan reported that the commission has received an interlocal agreement signed by Green Forest Mayor Charlie Reece. The commission is still waiting on signed agreements from the cities of Berryville and Oak Grove. The agreements, which the commission says are not necessary to proceed on a contract with Southern, essentially would commit the cities to using the service contracted by the commission. Southern has been operating in the city of Green Forest since June.

Leivan also presented the treasurer’s report, saying the commission has a bank balance of $318,574.89. The commission voted to pay Hogue’s bill of $1,075.66 for work performed in September and October.

The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Carroll County Eastern District Courthouse in Berryville.

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