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Unicoi County EMS board OKs ambulance bids

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 25, 2020 at 9:58 PM

ERWIN — The Unicoi County EMS board of directors has approved bids for the purchase of three ambulances and a four-wheel drive director’s truck with transport capacity.

The vehicles include two new, box-truck style advanced life support ambulances and a late model van-style ambulance that will be used a backup when the new ambulances are out of service for maintenance.

The total purchase price of approximately $447,000 will be paid for with a $460,400 grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development with a remaining balance of approximately $13,500 in unused grant funding.

The board hopes to use the remaining grant funds for the future purchase of a small all-terrain vehicle for use during festivals and off road medical emergencies.

The board voted to accept the bids at its March 13 and is awaiting TDECD approval needed to finalize the purchase. Use of the remaining grant funds for the purchase of the ATV or other equipment must also be approved by TDECD.

The TDECD grant includes $315,000 in state money and $145,000 in local grant match funding that may be paid for with $150,000 awarded to the new EMS by the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Board.

The fund were secured by the hospital board through the sale of the former hospital to Ballad Health and designated for county health care needs. The hospital board presented the funds to the EMS board at its March 13 meeting.

With the purchase of the ambulances and additional vehicles, Unicoi County Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely said “rolling stock” for the new EMS will be in good order when the new service begins operations in July.

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