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Grady EMS picked to provide interim ambulance services
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COVINGTON, Ga. - Grady EMS has been picked to provide ambulance services on a short-term mutual aid basis in Newton County starting Aug. 1, according to a press release from county Public Information Officer (PIO) Bryan Fazio.

The need to pick an interim provider came after the board of commissioners (BOC) voted unanimously June 20 to reverse its June 13 vote declining to pursue an ambulance license and asking the State of Georgia to pick an ambulance service for the county when Piedmont Newton Hospital ceases ambulance service at midnight July 31.

The county’s decision to pursue its own EMS license required it to have a short-term mutual aid provider in place before the license application was submitted to the State by County Attorney Megan Martin. The resolution approved by commissioners directed Martin to submit the application no later than June 22. County Manager Lloyd Kerr, Fire Chief Mike Conner and 911 Center Director Mike Smith were instructed by the BOC to reach an agreement with the provider utilizing the county’s emergency procurement policy.

According to Fazio, the agreement with Grady is a six-month contract at a cost of $1,000 a day. He said Grady will base its ambulances in several locations throughout Newton County.

Fazio said Newton County is currently paying Piedmont Newton Hospital $1,500 a day for operation of the county’s ambulances based out of the hospital located in Covington. He said at its funding of $1.2 million in fiscal year 2017, Piedmont Newton was operating ambulances at a cost of more than $3,287 per day.

County Manager Lloyd Kerr said in the press release, “This was a proposal that was in the best interest of the county.

“We are excited about working with Grady. They provide great service and are renowned for their top trauma and burn centers. We now have a connection to the Grady system which is a great benefit to Newton County residents.”

According to its website, Grady EMS is the exclusive provider for ambulance transport services in the City of Atlanta responding to more than 120,000 emergency and non-emergency ambulance requests annually. It also serves Baldwin, Brooks, Decatur, Hancock, Pike and Worth counties.