For the second time this month, the Atmore City Council unanimously approved a request from an ambulance service for a license to do business within the city.
But, as city officials learned during the November 27 session, there won’t be a third ambulance service operating here on a regular basis. At least not yet.
Mike Sandell, senior operations manager for Medstar EMS, told council members that his company was merely trying to meet the specifications of the city and of government and private medical insurance providers.
“At this point we’re seeking a business license to make sure we’re compliant with city regulations and ordinances, as well as the fact that Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield require us to have a business license for each area we operate in to legally file claims,” Sandell said.
Medstar, which is owned by Lifeguard Ambulance and operates medical evacuation helicopters and ground transport from its headquarters in Summerdale, occasionally does business within the city. However, at least for the time being, there are no plans to set up a base of operations here.
“We’ve responded up here at the request of (Atmore Community Hospital) for some transfers out, as well as backing up Atmore Ambulance Service when their ambulances were tied up and not available,” said Sandell. “We’re not seeking a location within the city or its police jurisdiction at this time and we won’t unless we see that there is a need and further discussions take place.”
ASAP EMS was granted a business license at the council’s November 13 meeting and began on November 20 answering emergency and non-emergency medical calls on a rotating basis with Atmore Ambulance Service.
In the November 27 meeting’s only other agenda item, council members approved a routine piece of housekeeping by approving a security plan for Atmore Municipal Airport.
“This is the airport security plan that we have to approve every year for our airport,” Mayor Jim Staff told the council before a 5-0 vote approved the measure. “It’s part of the Homeland Security deal and it’s the same as it was last year. We still have to go over it each year, but we didn’t have to make any adjustments to it.”