TUSCALOOSA COUNTY COMMISSION: GREEN POND NEEDS COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT FOR 911 SERVICE

Green Pond Fire Department

The Tuscaloosa County Commission says they’re not trying to push out the Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department’s ambulance service, but they do want everyone following the same rules.

The conflict between GPFD and the commission stretches back to almost one year ago. Leaders on both sides seem to want to reach a resolution, but aren’t sure if that can happen.

Green Pond is a community in northwest Bibb County, right on the Tuscaloosa County line. Even though Green Pond is technically in Bibb County, the Alabama Department of Public Health determined the Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department is within their rights to provide assistance to Tuscaloosa County’s contracted transport service, NorthStar EMS.

Many residents who live near Green Pond said they don’t understand why Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department can’t be dispatched to them since it’s much closer than NorthStar.

Tuscaloosa County Attorney Robert Spence gave us that answer.

“We can’t communicate directly with Green Pond,” Spence said. “They do not have the ability to communicate with our 911 Center. We can’t dispatch them because we can’t communicate with them. We have asked them to purchase the equipment necessary to communicate with us. They have not done that yet. Once they do, we will enter into some kind of negotiations with them.”

So will there ever be a resolution?

“I don’t know if anything can be worked out right now,” Spence said. “We are certainly willing to negotiate something with them.”

But the Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department can’t operate in Tuscaloosa County if they can’t be dispatched and can’t serve anyone who needs help throughout the county, Spence said.

Often times amid controversy, misunderstandings develop. Tuscaloosa County Commissioners said they would like to extinguish any rumor that they are trying to do away with Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department.

“In fact, we give them money every year,” Spence said. “We actually give them an appropriation even though they are not in our county. We recognize they do serve people in our county and so the county commission has provided them with money in the past. We have no interest in dissolving their fire department.”

If you live in the area and want to use Green Pond Volunteer Fire Department as your ambulance transport service, you can call them directly. Their number is 205-938-9111.

If you call 911 and live in Tuscaloosa County, an ambulance will be dispatched from Tuscaloosa County.

Spence said NorthStar EMS has a maximum response time of 20 minutes anywhere in the county 80 percent of the time.

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