In order to reduce response times to Lafayette County citizens needing an ambulance, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved adding a private medical company to the county’s 911 rotation.
Jim Cox, legal counsel for Priority Medical Transportation, made a presentation before the board during its regular Monday meeting.
Cox said he’s been in talks with county leaders for about 18 months on adding Priority to the 911 system. He said Priority has two Advanced Life Support ambulances staffed with one EMT and one paramedic immediately available to go into service. Priority Medical is located on West Oxford Loop and has been providing non-emergency transportation and wheelchair van transportation.
Currently, Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi operates the only emergency ALS ambulances in Lafayette County.
Oxford and Lafayette County leaders have both expressed concern over long response times and the fact that there are only two emergency ambulances available at any given time.
When Baptist bought out of its lease from the city and county in 2012 so it could build a new, bigger hospital, County Attorney David O’Donnell said there a clause in the sale agreement that said Baptist would provide the same level of ambulance service; however, county leaders said with the rise in population warrants additional ambulances.
“There is nothing (in the agreement) prohibiting us from adding additional service,” said County Attorney David O’Donnell Monday.
Cox said his company has studied ambulance response times in the county for 24 months.
“We can’t solve the problem,” he said. “But we can help alleviate the problem.”
Priority’s CEO David Grayson said the two ambulances would service call of Lafayette County, including inside Oxford city limits.
Cox requested Priority be added to the 911 system on a one-to-one rotation with Baptist.
“We both have two units in Lafayette County,” Cox said.
Dispatchers would dispatch Baptist…