Newton County will not pursue EMS license after Piedmont decision
Piedmont Newton elects to maintain license
Newton County will no longer seek an EMS license. Piedmont Newton alerted county officials that it has elected to keep its own license after originally informing the county it would not do so.
Piedmont Newton informed the county of its desire to retain the license on June 28, stating the decision is not contingent upon the county’s participation.
Newton County has subsidized the local hospital for EMS service for 20 years, including the last two since Piedmont took over operations from the Newton County Hospital Authority in October 2015. Piedmont Newton received $1.2 million in subsidies in Fiscal Year 2017 and requested $1.8 million for Fiscal Year 2018.
As it progressed through the budget process for the coming fiscal year, the Newton County Board of Commissioners decided not to subsidize the hospital for EMS Service. Piedmont Newton then opted to end its long partnership with the county, and in June informed the state that it would not seek to retain its license.
The county then moved forward with seeking the EMS license and entered into an agreement contingent on obtaining the license with Grady EMS on Thursday, June 22, to operate in Newton County on a temporary mutual aid agreement for a rate of $1,000 a day for six months.
Days later, Piedmont Newton reversed course and sent an email to Newton County stating it would not surrender the EMS license.
“We thank Grady for working with us to offer a quality and affordable ambulance service to Newton County residents,” said Marcello Banes, Newton County Chairman. “Quality safety and services for our citizens is what is most important to us and we are glad Grady was willing to step up to the plate when needed. And we are glad that residents will still receive that service under Piedmont Newton’s renewed interest in EMS services.”
Any funding of an EMS provider should the county have obtained a license was due to come out of its contingency fund. That fund, which is given a new balance each fiscal year, is designated for expenditures that are not anticipated during the budget process.
The Board of Commissioners will hold a series of public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget on July 18 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and July 25 at 6 p.m. in the Newton County Historic Courthouse.