Falkville Council reconsiders 911 agreementPublished 3:43pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The Falkville Town Council decided to table a decision about the annual agreement with Morgan County 911 during their regularly scheduled work session Tuesday evening.
Ryan Welty, director of the Morgan County Emergency Management Communication District, spoke to the Council regarding changes in the agreement. He said call costs have gone down in the last year from $4.74 to $4.04 per call, but the number of calls has increased within the last year, making the monthly payment more expensive this year.
Last year’s monthly payment was $1,779.43 compared to the proposed agreement’s monthly payments of $1,887.35 for the upcoming year.
When Councilman Alton Hill asked if the Morgan County 911 could provide a breakdown of the types of emergency calls made from Falkville, Welty said no.
Councilman David Carroll expressed his dissatisfaction with Morgan County 911 and their administrative practices.
“I don’t like the way 911 has been organized,” Carroll said. “I’m not satisfied with them. They don’t answer our questions, and as a taxpayer and a public official I am paying for the ambulance calls in multiple ways. The county has to pay and individual cities have to pay as well for the same calls whether they are dispatched or not.”
Carroll said this concerned him when it came to considering a county-wide ambulance service.
“If we changed to a county-wide ambulance service, they would be handling all of the calls still,” Carroll said.
Mayor Bob Ramey said he was unhappy with the way Morgan County 911 is monopolized by Decatur.
“Morgan County 911 is practically run by Decatur,” Ramey said. “Decatur makes sure there are plenty of ambulances in their area.”
Carroll agreed with Ramey, saying that he felt that’s why First Response EMS had slower response times.
“First Response EMS lagged when they were working with Falkville because Decatur complained that they didn’t have ambulances close enough,” Carroll said.
The Council decided to discuss the matter further and wait about voting on it since the current agreement doesn’t expire until Sept. 30 of this year.