Warrior Fire Chief Clay Neely submitted a proposal at the Warrior City Council’s regular meeting on Monday that suggested purchasing two ambulances for the city and hiring two trained paramedics/firefighters.
Neely said most of the ambulance service for the city comes from Blount County Emergency Management Services (EMS). Blount County EMS serves a large area, and council members say the ambulances can sometimes take too long to arrive. The fire department staff is entirely volunteer after 6 p.m.
According to Neely, the average ambulance ride costs around $800; insurance often pays some of the cost for the patient. Neely’s proposal assumes about 8 rides a week (1.2 a day), which would generate about $144,000 in revenue for the city. Neely said the revenue would make the transport system's cost break even.
Neely said city officials are looking at which ambulances they might purchase, and plan to have a “front-line” vehicle and a backup vehicle.
In other business, the council:
• approved a resolution that renewed the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan is a FEMA initiative that requires yearly re-approval by all municipalities.
• tabled an application for a lounge retail liquor business license for Warrior Speed Mart. Council members said they are hesitant to grant the license because of teenagers frequently loitering in the business’s parking lot. The council scheduled a special meeting for July 29 at 5 p.m. to discuss the issue with Warrior Police Chief Ray Horn.
• discussed options for repairing a sinkhole on Cane Creek Road in front of Fuel Z. The hole formed at least a year ago, and the council is holding Jefferson County responsible for its formation and repair. Warrior Mayor Rena Hudson said the city is not threatening any legal action at this point and is consulting with city attorney Jim Ward; however Hudson said suing the county is an option.