Emergency Chief Asks For Ambulance Certificate Extension - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Emergency Chief Asks For Ambulance Certificate Extension

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Bay County, Fla. -

Bay County Commissioners are on the eve of a decision that could delay plans for an ambulance service take over. In September, the commission decided to run the operation themselves----this after Bay Medical Center went private.

The commission discussed the idea over the years, but didn't endorse it until September, when Emergency Services Chief Mark Bowen assured the commission of the county's ability to provide the service. Bay Medical-Sacred Heart has the rights to the certificate till December 31st, but the Chief says he needs more time for a seamless transition.

Bowen tells us the process has been elongated, due to negotiations and pending licenses the county says they will not be ready in time; therefore Chief Bowen is asking the commission to extend the certificate to bay medical sacred heart until March 31st, 2013.

"We all are making sure that patient care is the number one issue that we're focused on, so these other issues have to be worked through, but it's much more important that they be done correctly and not necessarily quickly. " Bowen says.

In the deal, the county says they will hire all current Bay-Med EMS employees and will assume ownership of five ambulances purchased with grants. The commission is expected to make a decision on the proposed extension tomorrow at their regularly scheduled meeting.