BIBB COUNTY RESIDENTS: LONG RESPONSE TIMES MUST IMPROVE

Green Pond Fire Department

In Bibb County Saturday morning, a community meeting on the future of the Green Pond Fire and Rescue Department was discussed.

Many residents said they feel overlooked during medical emergencies.

“So what we’ve been told there is a problem with transport coming to us when we need help,” said resident Kim Boles. “We could be dispatched from the other side of the county, which could take 20-25 minutes, so that is not acceptable.”

The Green Pond Fire Department once offered emergency medical transport services and provided assistance to AM-Serv and NorthStar EMS in areas of Tuscaloosa and Bibb counties.

But in August the Tuscaloosa County Commission served papers to Green Pond, making it clear they wanted the rescue service to stop making EMS runs in Tuscaloosa County. Their reasoning? Green Pond is not part of Tuscaloosa County’s E-911 communication system.

One resident said that decision made a major impact on her family.

April House said it took 45 minutes before emergency workers arrived to assist her son, who fell victim to a seizure and stopped breathing.

“I had to put him in the car and drive to meet the ambulance,” she said. “They still took 45 minutes to get to me to help me and my son.”

Lt. Cody Franklin with Green Pond Fire and Rescue said the drop in calls after the change was drastic.

“In August I believe we ran right around 150 calls that month,” Franklin said. “In November we ran 33. So you’re talking about an upwards of 70% drop in call volume.”

Those who live on the county line said they rely on and ask for Green Pond over any other medical transport service.

“I know they are amazing,” House said. “I know they’re fast, I know they’re kind and they do what needs to be done in a good timing, not in 45 minutes or when they decide to come.”

The closest available service should be the one getting calls no matter the county, Franklin said.

“It doesn’t matter who it is as long as someone can get there in a timely fashion,” Franklin said. “That’s not happening.”

Saturday’s meeting also proposed securing monthly expenses needed for the department so they can offer better services for the residents they serve.

Categories: Archives, Local News