HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — Last November, Houston County residents voted for an additional fee to be added to their license tag fees to benefit EMS services.

Heather Thomas, with Rehobeth Fire and Rescue, said the additional five-dollar license tag fee voted by Houston County residents has gone a long way for EMS services in Houston County, especially during this past year as these services remain crucial due to COVID.

Thomas said the funds allow the rescue squads around Houston County to pay their responders to be on shifts, that way there is a person available 24-hours and seven days a week.

She said these funds are important, especially since COVID-19 keeps being an issue in the county.

“These funds have been beneficial in that way in allowing us to ensure that we do have the coverage needed for those that do call 911 and that ask for assistance in this time,” Thomas said.

On top of payroll, Thomas said these funds can also go towards the maintenance and upkeep of vehicles, and also towards purchasing new equipment.

In total, Thomas said the additional fee has brought in a great deal of money. She estimates it being anywhere between 250 dollars to four thousand dollars. She said that money has been distributed across the six entities in Houston County.

“That money is there and it is very beneficial. That money is just a part in some ways. It doesn’t help cover every expenditure that we have with payroll,” Thomas said.

Thomas said EMS personal serves Houston County with pride, and these funds just help the responders continue to serve and keep the community safe.

“We are very appreciative that everybody did take the opportunity and vote ‘yes’ to help us to get this bill passed to help us get the funding that we did need,” Thomas said.

Thomas wants the community to know how beneficial these funds are for EMS services in Houston County, she said five dollars, no matter how you look at it, truly does go a long way.