Ambulance service discussion to continue Monday afternoon

Published 10:55 am Monday, August 22, 2016

Following a special called board meeting Monday morning, it appears a decision by the Warren County Board of Supervisors on a potential change in the county’s ambulance service partnership with the city is going back to the negotiation table.

Monday morning, board members agreed to meet with Vicksburg officials to work out an agreement that would keep the county’s ambulance coverage with the city of Vicksburg.

Vicksburg North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield appeared at Monday’s meeting to offer an “olive branch”  on behalf of the city to keep the partnership together.

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“Somewhere along the line, things got muddled. It’s imperative we do the right thing, which is to provide the best ambulance and rescue service for the residents of Vicksburg and Warren County,” Mayfield said.

The debate occurred after city and county officials were at odds over how much the city should charge the county for ambulance and rescue service, and how much the county owes the city for runs outside the city the county was never billed for.

The city wants to charge the county $400 per ambulance dispatch — a $100 increase over fiscal 2016 — regardless if a patient is treated.

Monday’s meeting had been one where the county was looking at other ambulance options, including private ambulance services.

After a lengthy discussion, the county agreed to meet with the city Monday afternoon.

The county’s current agreement ends with the city on Sept. 30, meaning the board needs to make a decision quickly, Board President Richard George said.

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and South Ward Alderman Willis Thompson are currently out of town, leaving Mayfield in a position to negotiate on the city’s behalf.