Editor:

A Huntsville TV station recently reported on ambulance service received by a family living in the Green Hill area of Lauderdale County.

The family was very concerned with the delay in the arrival of an ambulance from the current provider - Shoals Ambulance Service. The TV reporter also stated that only one bid had been received.

I had similar concerns when dealing with the current provider. My wife’s aunt was in rehab and her condition had quickly deteriorated. The family made the decision to take her home and place her under hospice care. The aunt had previously stated she wished to spend her final hours at home.

The rehab facility called Shoals Ambulance Service and scheduled an ambulance for the next day at 10am. On the scheduled day, I arrived at rehab at 9am and the ambulance finally arrived at 2:05pm! Our request for an ambulance was for transportation only.

The earlier quote from the reporter is correct. However, additional information should have been included.

When Shoals Ambulance Service was initially awarded the contract, they were the highest bidder among three or four services. Due to this action of accepting the highest bid, the services that submitted lower bids realized that Shoals Ambulance Service would continue to get future contracts as well. Subsequent requests for bids have resulted in only one bid, and that was from Shoals Ambulance Service.

In March of this year, the Florence City Council and the Lauderdale County Commissioners accepted the bid from Shoals Ambulance Service.

If a service is advertised for bids and only one bid is received, I believe the bid should be re-announced. This action may result in more bids and may cause Shoals Ambulance Service to reconsider their bid.

Our elected officials at the city and county levels need to be more business-like.

Bill Smoak

Florence