Plan to return ambulance to Clinton
RESPONSE EMS & CLINTON FIRE: Laurens County EMS takes the safety of the citizens and visitors to Laurens County seriously and we also know that it is of paramount importance.
While the placement of ambulance’s throughout Laurens County is important, Laurens County EMS must weigh every option regarding not only the safety of the citizens and visitors, but that as well of the employees who work for EMS.
No one at Laurens County EMS takes their responsibility lightly, and we operate with the idea and belief that every life is important, and every citizen deserves the same service.
The Clinton ambulance was temporally relocated to the Joanna station until the air conditioner could be repaired or replaced by the City of Clinton. It is the understanding and belief from officials within the Clinton Fire and Police department that the issue has not been rectified, they have established a plan and received approval to move forward with the replacement of the HVAC system which should be completed by the end of June, 2019. This relocation has nothing to do with the location of the crew quarters within the current Clinton FD. The ambulance will be back soon, we are looking at and have been trying to find a better location for the unit while the repairs/replacement take place.
The citizens of the City of Clinton are just as important as the citizens of Joanna, Cross Hill, Renno, or Mountville. A citizen in Mountville deserves the same services that are provided to the Cities of Laurens and Clinton. We base the location of our units on call volume not on who is more important. Here at LCEMS we treat each citizen the same.
Phillip Russell, Clinton Fire Chief, statement:
The safety of the citizens of the City of Clinton and the Clinton Fire District are very important to Clinton Fire and Laurens County EMS, equally. Clinton Fire is proud to work with our EMS professional partners in support of both of our missions.
We have had an air conditioner issue. We instituted as quickly as possible temporary measures. The installation of the new HVAC system is emanate. The City of Clinton’s public safety building’s dormitory space for both Fire and EMS are upstairs on the second floor. This was an original design when the building was constructed. It is important for everybody to know that Clinton Fire and Laurens County EMS work very well together. We want them within our building because this is an asset to our City.
EDITORIAL: We encourage Laurens County to move with all haste to have EMS service back in Clinton.
The safety of our citizens is of paramount importance to this newspaper. Having Laurens County EMS service for eastern Laurens County anchored in Joanna, instead of Clinton, is unacceptable.
There apparently was some kind of snafu with the air conditioner, blowing a fuse when the firefighter side was cool but the EMS side was not, or vice versa. That prompted the EMS to move out, not telling the City of Clinton they were going. Now the AC is fixed, but the City’s not encouraging the EMS to moved back in. Or something like that. Plus, the EMS quarters in Clinton are upstairs, so staying in an on-the-flat trailer in Joanna is a little easier on the knees. We’re not really interested in all that backing-and-forthing.
We just want the ambulances back.
We just know we’re the second largest city in the county and we deserve that service.
We are first-responders to two interstate highways - something that is a real challenge to our City’s limited public safety budget.
We understand the County has been diligent in attempting to deal with a $600,000/annual gap in the EMS budget (expenses over revenues).
We also understand that the accommodations offered by Clinton is of concern to the County’s leadership.
If eastern Laurens County needs to be designated a Special Purpose Tax District for EMS - until the service becomes solvent - then so be it. Whatever it takes - put ambulances and the people who run them back in Clinton. For our safety, and the safety of our people. Can we say it any more plainly?