Recommendation Anticipated For Ambulance Service Site
This information is from the office of Giles County Executive Graham Stowe.
Often newsletters hit upon the array of issues I’m trying to move forward. This update, however, will only address one … our pressing need for a new Ambulance HQ. Our ambulance facility is too small and outdated to renovate for continued service.
The location is less than ideal, trucks barely fit in their bays, and berthing areas poorly accommodate the mix of men and women in the workforce.
We’ve known about these shortcoming for years, with the Commission wrangling for 13+ years on how/when/why/where to build a new facility.
A little over a year ago we focused on identifying a site, and the commission reached consensus to use existing county property instead of purchasing new land.
That landed us with two possibilities: 1) The existing Giles County Fire & Rescue site, adjacent to the Sheriff’s Department, and 2) The Agri Park, adjacent to the existing Solid Waste facility.
Other county-owned properties were ruled out for not meeting basic operational criteria. Neither option is perfect. Both sites have pros and cons.
We hired an engineering firm to conduct a preliminary site survey to “depoliticize” the process - to really drill down into those pros and cons and provide a comprehensive report on their findings. And now the commission is ready to be briefed on that report, at 9 a.m., Dec. 5, at the OEM building, 3750 Columbia Highway.
The public is welcome to attend. The Building Committee will hopefully vote at the end of the briefing, prioritizing the options with a recommendation to the full commission. I’m optimistic that after having conducted this due diligence the commission is ready to move forward with site selection. We’re at a critical decision point.
It’s sometimes hard to avoid preconceived biases, but I’m hopeful we can make our decision using operational data, guided by risk vs. reward criteria. We do not want to make decisions of this magnitude based on anecdotes and emotions.
The goal is to give the men and women of the Ambulance Service the facility they need to fulfill their mission, safely and effectively … they’ve been waiting for years, and it's time for county government to deliver.
The full Commission will consider this on Jan. 16 , and then we’ll finally be ready to move forward with design and construction.