Lanett helps Valley with EMS coverage on Thursday

Published 4:24 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

VALLEY — Through other media outlets, reports are circulating that the City of Valley was without EMS service on Thursday, Aug. 9 but, on Friday, Mayor Leonard Riley disputed that claim.

According to the mayor, an EMS worker went home Thursday due to an at this time unknown reason and because other workers were unavailable or otherwise occupied, the city had to secure EMT service for the night through an intergovernmental agreement with Lanett.

“They were only called out one time the entire night,” the mayor said.

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The claim that Valley was without EMS service comes a few weeks after the city council authorized the mayor to execute a contract with the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District to take over EMS service.

“We are doing this for financial reasons,” Riley said, explaining during the initial announcement that the city had lost somewhere between $310,000 and $358,000 in each of the last three years while running Valley EMS. A $500,000 loss is projected for the current year. Valley is one of the few cities in Alabama that has an EMS department working independently of a fire department. Many municipal officials believe that an EMS service can be more cost-effective when it operates within a fire department. Lanett and West Point, for example, have both been doing that for some time.

On Friday, Mayor Riley noted that the move will make things more efficient.

He added that since the announcement was made, one EMS worker has quit without notice.

“[Bringing Lanett in on some night] will be an ongoing thing until the change is complete but we will have coverage,” the mayor said.