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City Commissioners discuss future of fire, possible private EMS

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The Board of Commissioners held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the possibilities of opening the second fire station, and inviting in private EMS service. 

Fire Department of Mt. Juliet Chief Erron Kinney and Assistant Chief Jamie Luffman told of the need to expand under their own control. Kinney said the national standard for service was to have 10 people on scene in 10 minutes. Kinney said there was 22 structural fires this year. 

“We were not able to meet the national standard one time,” said Kinney. 

Kinney said that he felt the department had been successful, and the working relationship with Wilson Emergency Management has been great. They asked for six more firefighters and a private EMS partnership with Medic One.  

“It will give the citizens what they asked us for,” said Luffman. 

The price for the six extra people would be $302,000, but the Medic One agreement would cost the city nothing. CEO Jim Reeves said that a lot of the cities and counties they have agreements with pay Medic One, but he felt comfortable not charging Mt. Juilet. He said a large percentage of citizens in Mt. Juliet have Medicare or private insurance, so his risk of not being paid for their service is low. 

Reeves gave a lengthy presentation to the commissioners about Medic One, which services areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and Illinois. Medic One would put two life support ambulances in Mt. Juliet, and the staff, which would be cross trained in fire fighting, would be chosen by Chief Kinney even though they will be employed by Medic One. 

The item was just a discussion item, so no action was taken. The commissioners requested financial information from Medic One to look over before the next board meeting, which would be the second reading on the yearly budget. 

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