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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Special 911 Board Meeting on Tuesday to Discuss Ambulance Coverage and Possible Ambulance Contracts

LAWRENCE COUNTY - OCTOBER 14, 2022 - A special Lawrence County 911 Board meeting will be held on Tuesday at the Training Room of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department at 8:30 a.m.

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The purpose of the meeting is to discuss ambulance coverage and possible ambulance provider contracts.

The Lawrence County Council has provided a line-item for ambulance coverage in the 2023 Budget should the Lawrence County Commissioners decide to act on providing ambulance coverage.

The issue of lack of ambulance coverage has been ongoing for the last several years. Seals and IU Lifeline ground ambulance services have been transporting patients outside of Lawrence County to other hospitals in Indianapolis, Louisville, and other hospitals to provide critical care. This has left the county without 911 ambulance coverage on several occasions.

Ambulances from Greene, Martin, Monroe and Orange Counties have responded to emergency calls throughout the county, City of Bedford, City of Mitchell and Town of Oolitic had a response time of 30 minutes or more. Jackson County Ambulance Service has told Lawrence County it will no longer provide backup ambulance coverage.

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Neither Seals Ambulance Service or IU Lifeline Ground Ambulance service has a contract to provide 911 ambulance coverage for Lawrence County ambulance services.

The Lawrence County 911 has removed two local volunteer fire departments due to no contractual agreements with their respective townships in the past couple of years. This included the Williams and Pleasant Run Township Volunteer Fire Departments.

Pleasant Run Township Volunteer Fire Department has since been reinstated after it was discovered that a fire contract did exist between both the township and fire department.

The Williams Volunteer Fire Department disbanded and is now covered by the Indian Creek Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham required all township trustees to provide updated fire contracts with their respective departments. However, no such requirement by the Lawrence County 911 board has been required for either Seals or IU Lifeline Ambulance Service to provide 911 service.

Both ambulance services only have contracts with their respective hospitals.

The only requirements were for equipment and radio requirements that the ambulance must have on their trucks.

With the closure of St. Vincent Dunn Hospital have residents concerned with the reduction of ambulances in the county even further. According to Lawrence County Commissioner Dustin Gabhart Seals Ambulance Service has plans to stay in the county, following the hospital closure.

Lawrence County Zephyr have been reporting on this over the past year and WTHR news Channel 13 came to Bedford to report on the lack of ambulance coverage.

" Despite reports on Facebook we do care about this situation," said Lawrence County Commissioner Rodney Fish.

Lawrence County Zephyr will update this story as it develops.

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1 Comment

Paul Gillespie
Paul Gillespie
Oct 14, 2022

Good to see you back up and going Bill.

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