HomeOpinionColumn: It's déjà vu all over again for Augusta ambulance service discussion

Column: It’s déjà vu all over again for Augusta ambulance service discussion



The king is dead! Long live the king!

When Bryan Gibson, CEO of Priority EMS, the parent company of Augusta’s new ambulance service, Central EMS, started speaking to members of a local subcommittee appointed to help design Central’s operations in the Garden City, it was déjà vu all over again.


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  1. All of this “sleight of hand” that Central is proposing is deflecting. So that EVERYONE is comparing apples to apples, Central EMS, FIRST needs to provide a cost quote, COMPLETELY and EXACTLY duplicating what Gold Cross provided. Everything. Let’s see just what THAT number is. Bobby Williams then gets to ask, “WHERE’S This Money Going to Come From ?” to the Acting Administrator. I’m still betting North of $2.3M. That does not include “The Bag Man”. Then and only then, do you start looking for ways to make that bitter pill, a little easier to swallow. First and foremost, let’s play fair, THIS TIME ! Last year’s Commissioners, nor the new slate of Commissioners this year treated Gold Cross fairly. And you all KNOW it. Was Gold Cross perfect ? Of course not. The Board of Commissioners cut their subsidy in half, which they would not have been able to do, under a contract. But guess what, there was no contract, just a MOU. That is the only reason that stunt was able to be done. Central EMS has learned from Gold Cross. There will NEVER be a MOU with Central. ARC will pay the price, including the “return on the investment”, or Central EMS will vacate the Zone, and tell all of us, “Have A Nice Day, Bye Bye”.

    1.0 – 1.5 MIL $
    1.5 – 2.0
    2.0 – 2.5
    2.5 – 3.0
    3.0 – 3.5
    3.5 – 4.0

  3. So it will be cheaper for the A/RC government to hire an out of town provider than it would be to keep the one you have, is familiar with the area, and is local? The only ones who thinks this makes any sense is this ‘Band of Circus Clowns’ AKA: The A/RC commission and their underlings!!! Folks, can it get any more amusing and mindboggling with this crowd. The cost will be in excess of 1/-1/2 million more than Gold Cross was asking. Maybe even more. Remember folks, this is YOUR MONEY they are wasting.

  4. There is aproblem in all of this discussion. Everyone is talking about the cost and not about how do we reduce the cost. The obvious 600 pound elephant is how do you stop the EMS from being a taxi service? It appears to be about $2 million a year in additional cost in giving anybody that claims to be sick a $750 Uber ride paid for by the county. There should be some punishment for illegally calling for an EMC ride. If his were my business, I would be trying to stop the leak not finding a way to absorb it.

  5. Why do we have to pay a penny to Central? We don’t. Central made the business decision to take the Augusta zone without any incentive on the table. Augusta is under no obligation to subsidize Central’s business model, which appears to be a moving target anyway. Central should make its money (and 10% profit) on paying patients and insurance companies. The city can pay the ambulance service for transporting indigent patients, just as it has paid local hospitals for treating indigent patients, but it is not required by law to do so.

    • Mayor Young you are absolutely correct. With no subsidy the cost of transport will be very large (I would guess around $2k) plus the cost of materials used. The last time that happened the Commissioners phones blew up and that is the beginning of where we are today.

    • As Clarence above stated, you are correct, BUT… They requested the Zone, fully expecting a subsidy. As I said above, ARC will pay the subsidy, or Central EMS will release the Zone, and ARC will have NO EMS. Gold Cross tried to be nice, but they were screwed over by the Commissioners. The guard will change on May 1. We shall see. Central EMS is owned by an investment group — they will not put up with the crap that Gold Cross tried to deal with.

  6. More County employees, more expensive software, and providing fire stations to house the new company, at a yet to be determined cost. Well done, Well done! That’s sooo much better than where it was going to be. Here’s a thought, every time an ambulance is dispatched, send one of the five commissioners and the city attorney to the scene too. If all they need is a ride, let one of them handle it. They can even nurse them back to sober or whatever ailment they may have.
    I’m still waiting on an explanation as to why this is such a better alternative, Ray Charles can see its gonna be 3-4 times what Gold Cross was asking for, just this time, there is an open checkbook

    • Exactly. If the bums don’t pay their way, they should be sued by whoever transports them. Everyone else gets sued for skipping out on debts, why not them? I know you can’t get “blood out of a turnip” but having judgments against them should at least be grounds for not transporting them more than once.

  7. Politicians in Augusta don’t have to create diversionary disasters. At any point in time the citizens have many to choose from. We have been conditioned to expect that this is just how everything is done here. Why, why can’t we expect the people that run for office and get voted in. The people that are hired to do the work needed for a city to function. To do what they agreed to do?

  8. No matter what RC ends up paying, Central will be vilified the first time one of the Commissioner’s kin or political cronies doesn’t get an ambulance within 5 minutes. And these calls by those just wanting transport is not going to stop because it has become an entitlement. Guess where this argument is going to be a year or two from now?

  9. I have made an excellent living post military retirement based upon an age old maxim.
    When a grudge is involved a facility will gladly pay a contractor more than the employee or the contractor in hand.Coupled with a frequent lack of adult leadership. An excellent provider and company [ Gold Cross]fell prey to this. ” It’s not me, it’s you” I have some good friends in RC suffering under this. And no way out.

  10. Total incompetence from our loser contract office! All aspects of this critical service should have been outlined in detail in the proposal from Central. Negotiation BEFORE award is a critical but normal contracting process. This terrible but normal contracting process is reflected in all projects in Augusta. This results in non or very slow performance with no penalties for non-performance.
    Sammie should already be in jail!! Where is the prosecutor?

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