HEFLIN — Piedmont Rescue & Emergency Medical Services will answer medical calls in the north end of Cleburne County, according to a unanimous vote of the Cleburne County Hospital Board on Thursday night. The Piedmont agency will receive $6,000 per year to serve the Borden Springs area and the rest of Cleburne County above County Road 202.
According to Cleburne County EMS director Tracy Lambert, much time will be saved by having Piedmont answer medical calls in the north end of the county. The Cleburne EMS is located in Heflin, 26 miles from Borden Springs, while Piedmont’s EMS is just eight miles from Borden Springs.
“We just wanted to decrease response time for residents in that area — with Piedmont being right there at it, it’s just quicker for them to get there,” Lambert said. Lambert noted that Piedmont has been answering medical calls in the northern part of the county for years but its EMS was paid on a per-call basis.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the yearly budgets for the nursing home and the EMS. The budget for the hospital board itself was tabled until the board’s next meeting in January.
The nursing home administrator Tony Culberson reported that the new Alzheimer’s unit has been open for 30 days and is running fine. Culberson said that the Alzheimer’s unit will be named after longtime board member Sandy Weston but the actual wording for the name has not been settled on. The board unanimously voted to give Culberson the authority to come up with a name for the Alzheimer’s unit.
Weston was touched that the Alzheimer’s unit was named after her.
“I’m happy — I was appointed in 1998 by Pete Jackson, he was the commissioner at that time — and my mom and dad both were in the nursing home, my mom was here for 12 years and that’s why I got so involved with the nursing home — I love the nursing home,” Weston said.
The board also voted to create a new committee for public relations. The board already has three committees: building committee, nursing home committee and the EMS committee.
The hospital board’s next meeting will be Jan. 25, 2018.