By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
After being tabled for a year, Franklin County will soon institute a new ordinance that will require owners and operators of independent ambulance services to adhere to strict guidelines or face stiff fines.
The ordinance was proposed by EMS Director Terry Harris in October 2012.
The Ambulance Services Ordinance would establish minimum standards of service for ambulances operating in Franklin County and is designed to prevent unnecessary delays of service.
But last year, Commissioner Clint Harper said he had reservations about the ordinance.
Harper said it sounded like a way to prevent independent ambulance services from doing business in Franklin County.
“On the surface, it appears that this is just hampering businesses from coming in and providing the service,” Harper said. “There are state regulations that ambulance services, including the county (EMS) have to abide by. I could be wrong, but from what I see, it appears that the county is trying to keep ambulance services out.”
However, at their recent work session, Commissioner Clint Harper said he now supports the ordinance.
“Knowing more about what’s going on and the necessity, I’m actually the one that brought it to Billy (Morse) for the board to move on at this time,” Harper said last week. “I think this would be good for the county.”
The board is expected to vote to pass the ordinance at their regular meeting.