County Council seals deal on EMS system

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By Stan Welch
Even as an appeal of the decision to establish a single provider system for emergency medical services proceeds, the county council voted Tuesday night to enter into a contract with Medshore, and with AnMed to seal the deal.
Medshore was awarded the contract to provide emergency medical services to the county, despite an appeal by several rescue squads. The basis for the appeal relies on a perception of a conflict of interest. Anderson County coroner Greg Shore is the founder and a partner in Medshore. County procurement regulations prohibit doing business with county employees. Several rescue squads, including Pelzer’s, have filed an appeal with the county. Three county employees, who have not been named yet, will hear the appeal.
Another basis for the appeal is the claim that the bid entered by Medshore was not responsive to the request for proposal. The bid shifted a great deal of the emphasis on response from fully equipped ambulances to a fleet of quick response vehicles. The purpose of the change, according to Medshore’s proposal, is to get trained paramedics to the scene quickly to begin treatment. The appealing squads claim that they were instructed to bid on providing full service ambulances and a higher level of response than a QRV can provide.
The Council also approved a contract with AnMed Hospital, which will contribute $1.4 million annually to fund the QRV fleet. The paramedics who will man the QRVs will be county employees. The funding arrangement has raised concerns about patient choice as to what hospital they will be transported to.
County administrator Rusty Burns told the Journal that the staffing effort for the paramedics is ninety five per cent complete, and should be finished by the week’s end. The new system goes into effect on September 1. Burns added that placing the QRVs is also proceeding, with units assigned to various fire departments and existing EMS facilities.
The vote was 4-3 with Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, Councilman Jimmy Davis and public safety committee chairman Ray Graham voting against the move.
Third reading approval was given to two zoning requests in the Williamston area. A 1.08 acre site (104 and 106 Chippewa Lane) was rezoned from C-2 to S-1 (service district). Also rezoned were 18.07 acres at 702 Belton Hwy., from planned development to residential agriculture.