Effingham County commissioners will take a look at where to best station its ambulances.
Guyton has offered space for a fourth truck, but at the commissioners’ first June meeting, Commissioner Jeff Utley wants an ambulance for the northern end of the county.
“We serve all the people,” he said. “Is it right to have people on (Highway) 17 to have two and have none for the northern end?”
A fourth day truck is housed in Springfield, but Guyton approached the county EMS and offered the use of an old school there.
“They’re giving us a whole wing,” EMS co-director Rebecca Space said. “We can get some of our extra equipment over there. It was just a nice location. It gives us roadways that are convenient. It was a nice location that was offered for free.”
“I know it would be beneficial to the people of Guyton,” said Commissioner Myra Lewis.
County Administrator Ed Williams said the matter may come down to strategic location.
“Whether we like it or not, the population is expanding in the south,” he said. “I think the issue is the number of calls.”
Rincon is the No. 1 source of EMS calls in the county, followed by Springfield.
“Putting the truck in Guyton doesn’t address the call volume,” Utley countered.
The EMS’ longest response time is to the corner of District 3 at Goshen Road and Highway 30.
Space also asked commissioners to extend the day truck’s service from five days a week to seven, noting an increase in the number of calls.
In May, the EMS had 271 calls and had been averaging 260 calls a month. Space also said the Effingham EMS was called on frequently by other counties, twice each by Bryan and Chatham in May, on top of their in-county service.
“We’re still getting business on the weekend,” she said. “Monday is still one of our busiest days. We’re running as many calls on the weekend as during the week.”
The fourth truck is used to handle calls during busy stretches of the day. It also is used to maintain a station if a primary vehicle was responding to a call.
“We were looking at gas purposes also,” Space said. “We were looking at moving the truck less.”