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Valley looking to transfer EMS service

VALLEY — Representatives of the City of Valley and the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District are having discussions on transferring Valley EMS to East Alabama.

For the most part, EMS services and fire departments go together. Valley is one of a few cities in Alabama that has an EMS service but not a fire department.

Valley Mayor Leonard Riley told The Valley Times-News that fire departments can operate EMS units more efficiently than cities can.

“We’ve been  losing $300,000 to $450,000 a year running an EMS department. That adds up over time,” Riley said.

When an agreement is reached and enacted, Valley EMS will be leaving the city hall complex. EMS service could be housed in the main fire station on Fob James Drive, at the new station in Fairfax or split between the two. It would be possible, for example, to have ambulances and fire medics at both locations.

“That will be up to East Alabama,” Riley said. “We will be helping them cover the cost of doing this. We think that doing it this way will better serve the citizens in the long run.”

According to officials, the main thing for Valley residents to understand is that they will continue to have high-quality EMS service and that there will be no gap of coverage in the transition. It’s just a matter
of the present service going from the city to East Alabama.

With two fire stations to serve the public, East Alabama can potentially not only have fire protection service closer to resident’s homes they can also have an ambulance closer in case of an emergency.