Vote on ambulance ordinance tabled at county meeting

Thursday, March 12, 2015

At the monthly Poinsett County Quorum Court meeting, an anticipated ambulance ordinance was tabled until further research on the affect it could have on the western side of the county is completed.

The ordinance comes after Trumann EMS owner Dale Parker approached the quorum court at last month's meeting. Parker asked about putting restrictions on how long ambulance services must be in the county to get added to the Poinsett County 911-rotation. He asked the court to support his local business, as well as the locally-owned ambulance service in Marked Tree. In the February meeting, the court agreed to look into how an ordinance restricting new ambulance services to be placed on the rotation would affect the county's constituents.

The ordinance had several justices of the quorum concerned with the western part of the county. If an ordinance was passed restricting new services from being placed on the 911-rotation for at least a year, it could negatively affect towns like Harrisburg, Weiner, Fisher and Waldenburg with longer wait-times for an ambulance if MedicOne was to move out of the area.

In the February meeting, Parker said he and the owner of Riverside Ambulance Services would sign an agreement with the county stating they would service the western part of the county in the event that MedicOne did move out of the county. In this agreement, he said both services would strategically station ambulances in the western part of the county to respond to 911 calls as quickly as possible.

Poinsett County Judge Bob Cantrell said the Public Health, Safety, Recreation and Social Services Committee and the Quorum Court will have to do more research before presenting the proposed ordinance at the next meeting. The vote to table the ordinance until April was supported 9-2, with Justices of the Peace Gary Anderson and Harold Blackwood against the motion.

In other business, the quorum court approved a resolution for a contract of obligation with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality pertaining to the closing of the landfill. The court also reviewed bids for the new shop building.

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