Twiggs Co. Firefighter Sent to Hospital in Police Patrol Car | News
Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum says it sometimes takes 45 minutes for an ambulance from The Medical Center of Central Georgia to arrive at a scene.
Roy Wood, a volunteer firefighter in the county, suffered a heart attack while fighting a fire last summer. He says The Medical Center told him it could take several minutes for help to arrive.
He says, "So, Lieutenant Hasty and a fellow firefighter got me in his patrol vehicle and got me to The Coliseum ER."
Mitchum says it is not rare for his officers to put patients in their patrol cars and bring them to the hospital or meet the ambulance somewhere on I-16.
According to Wood, doctors told him that he arrived at the hospital just in time. Wood says, "As soon as I got on the table at the ER I coded. I had full cardiac arrest."
Mitchum and other county leaders, including county commissioner Milton Sampson, say they want The Medical Center to build an EMS substation in Jeffersonville. Sampson says this would shave off miles between paramedics and patients and speed up response times.
Mitchum says the county does not have the money to pay for its own EMS system, so all of their emergency calls are dispatched to The Medical Center.
In a written statement to 13WMAZ, The Medical Center's EMS Director Lee Oliver wrote, "The cost of placing an ambulance in Twiggs County has multiple variables, but The Medical Center is only interested in covering the cost of providing these services with a designated ambulance in Twiggs County."
Sampson says the county will continue talking with The Medical Center about an EMS substation, but they are also looking into other options, including other nearby hospitals and private companies.
Watch the full story Monday on Eyewitness News at 6.