Wiregrass county becomes first to use ARPA funds on EMS $440,000 purchase in Alabama

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — A local county has a new weapon in its fight to bring immediate care to people in life-threatening emergencies.

Coffee County is the first county in the state to make this kind of purchase with funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan.

Captain Anthony Cole of Enterprise Rescue and has been serving the Enterprise and Coffee county community since 1980.

“We put about 12 people through school then to possibly become one of the first ALS ambulance services in the state of Alabama that was all-volunteer, we had about 12 paramedics at that time,” Cole said.

Now they’re seeing another first, this one in the wake of the pandemic. During the height of the pandemic, these first responders were getting about a thousand calls on average, a month.

And with just thirty-three EMTs spread throughout shifts and ten ambulances plus this additional new $440,000 purchase from the American Rescue Plan Act will go far for the county.

“People forget about EMS a lot of times, they think about police,” Cole said. “They think about fire. The third part of first responders is EMS.”

The most difficult task during the pandemic was having to travel so many miles carrying patients to many out-of-state locations, like Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Tampa, and even Arkansas.

“Emergency medical services have been absolutely pressed by pandemic conditions for the last year and a half,” County Administrator, Rod Morgan said. “This will help provide them with much-needed relief.”

First Lt. Operations, at Enterprise Rescue, Arnold Woodham tells WDHN this new ambulance will provide a little peace of mind for the first responders who have been serving the Coffee County community, through the whole COVID pandemic, he said this has not been an easy time.”

“Everybody no matter where they are, EMS all across this county we need to remember all of them because that is what we do every single day is look after people,” Cole said.

The new ambulance is already helping first responders in emergency situations, serving the people in Coffee County.

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