Pelham City Council discusses EMS funding at special work session

Published 2:10 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Pelham City Council held a special work session on Wednesday, Aug. 3, to discuss the city’s budget for 2024.

Pelham’s city council began discussing the merits of investing in more emergency medical services training and supplies at their special work session on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Pelham’s emergency services have been looking to invest in new ambulances for the past year. However, a significant problem exists due to a dramatic drop in the number of licensed and trained EMTs in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began. There are also problems surrounding the bureaucracy in how ambulances are dispatched and their areas of coverage.

Ambulances are traditionally dispatched to most places the fire department and police station are also dispatched. This can cause a strain on a city’s emergency services if the number of ambulances and trained EMTs are rather limited.  Additionally, most ambulance services are bound to the city they are employed by, and cannot, or will not, aid people outside of their city limits. 

Pelham’s fire department offered a handful of possible solutions to this problem, including the dispatch of other emergency medical vehicles to certain situations or the possible formation of a larger shared fleet of ambulances and EMTS with nearby cities such as Alabaster, Helena and Calera

Other topics discussed at the special work session included:

-Ballantrae Golf Club. Topics discussed included the upkeep costs of sandtraps and the grasses used at the course. There was also discussion involving the repair of several golf cart paths at the club, which have become damaged by tree roots. 

-Economic development of the city of Pelham. Improving the roads in Pelham was a major concern in this discussion. In particular, the council discussed the possibility of permeable concrete being used in roads and parking lots. 

-Pelham’s public library. The library requested that their budget largely remain the same from last year but be slightly increased with inflation being taken into account.

-The city of Pelham’s IT department discussed the pros and cons of renting versus buying their equipment. Several council members weighed in on the issue, but no final decisions were reached.

No final budget decisions were approved or denied at this meeting; updates will be provided as more information becomes available.