On February 19, 2018, the Habersham County Board of Commissioners and the Habersham Medical Center Hospital Authority Board fulfilled a commitment to positive and progressive collaboration that will benefit Habersham County residents. Both boards voted and approved a resolution that will transition oversight of Habersham County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) from Habersham Medical Center to the government of Habersham County. Stacy Hall, Chairman of the Hospital Authority of Habersham County commented, “This is a great example of how two community stakeholders can work together to help improve our community and ultimately the lives of our citizens.”
Beginning March 5, 2018, Habersham County will oversee 36 paramedics, 12 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), and two Community Paramedicine personnel. Under the current agreement, the County provides and maintains eight ambulances, four that run 24/7, and one 10-hour ambulance that runs Monday thru Friday as well as covering expenses which are not covered by EMS revenues. “This change will allow cross-training among fire and EMS personnel and will strategically position personnel and equipment to improve responsiveness to all emergency calls,” said Phil Sutton, Habersham County Manager. Habersham County Commission Chairman Victor Anderson stated, “This is an opportunity to provide improved and enhanced services to our Citizens without adding additional cost to the tax payers. Additionally, it will allow the Hospital to expand their services and focus on their core business. This is truly a Win – Win!”
Since November 1, 1974, Habersham County’s ambulance and paramedicine needs have been overseen by the Habersham Medical Center Authority Board. Lynn Boggs, CEO of Habersham Medical Center stated, “With this merger, the residents and visitors of Habersham County will be positively impacted by a more efficient and effective emergency services organization.”
Chad Black, the current EMS director, will assume the role of Habersham Emergency Services Director. Mr. Black has previous experience in a similar role in Hall County and is well known locally and nationally for his expertise in emergency services.
Jeff Cain, Habersham Fire Chief, will continue in his position as Fire Chief and will also serve as Assistant Emergency Services Director. Director Black and Chief Cain will lead the transition to combine Emergency Medical Services and Fire Services as one unified department of the Habersham County Government.
The Habersham County Board of Commissioners and Habersham County Medical Center will continue to work diligently in exploring opportunities that will provide the highest quality of health care to the Habersham County community.