Ordinance establishes tax to fund Anderson County EMS

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During their meeting Tuesday, Anderson County Council had first reading on changes to the ordinance regarding operation and maintenance of the County EMS system and franchise of non-emergency transport companies.
The ordinance establishes the Anderson County Emergency Medical Services System and provides for annual tax funding and transport fees to support it. It also addresses non-emergency transport operations in the County.
It also established an Emergency Medical Services Plan which include the action plan for the Quick Response Vehicles (QRVs) staffed by paramedics to provide Advance Life Support (ALS) services and the contract provider to provide services through the County’s 911 system.
The County’s EMS system will provide county-wide 911 services designed to respond to medical emergencies and to provide initial medical response and/or treatment as a means of stabilizing accident and/or trauma victims for transportation to medical facilities for primary, secondary, and/or tertiary care or treatment as may be required.
The only providers authorized to provide 911 emergency medical services within Anderson County are County employed paramedics and the contract provider(s) to the County.
Under the ordinance, providers of non-emergency medical services who wish to operate within Anderson County must obtain permission by obtaining a franchise to provide the services. Providers of non-emergency medical services are not authorized to provide 911 emergency services and are banned from appearing at the scene of a 911 issued call for emergency services.
Non-emergency transport franchises will be granted for a period of one year and require a franchise application fee of $500 for each term a franchise is issued.
Private ambulance services or medical transportation services currently operating as a business must obtain a franchise from the County within three months of the ordinance being finalized.
Any private ambulance service or medical transportation service that fails to complete the franchise process or fails to receive approval of the Anderson County Public Safety Committee to operate will face fines. A warning will be issued for a first occurrence, then a $2,500.00 fine for second offense, $5,000 fine for a third, $10,000 fine for a fourth occurrence and $15,000 fine for all subsequent occurrences.
Non-emergency franchisees are prohibited from competing through the 911 system with county EMS, except where such emergency services arise in the course of nonemergency medical transportation.
The County reserves the exclusive right to provide basic and advanced life support emergency medical services through its system, including county EMS and organizations under contract to provide emergency services to all areas of the county.
Community based, nonprofit organizations, utilizing volunteer, nonpaid personnel, who rely upon public and private donations to provide convalescent transportation, are exempt from the provisions of the ordinance and are encouraged to continue their service.
The ordinance will require three readings before going into effect.