COLUMBIANA, Ala. (WIAT) — Shelby County residents will soon head to the polls to decide if those who live in the unincorporated areas of Columbiana and Wilsonville will pay a yearly fee to help establish an EMS district in the community.
The Southeast Shelby County Rescue EMS is facing financial challenges as they continue to work to provide their services.
If approved, the measure would affect approximately 10,000 residents. Landowners with a typical home with up to 100 acres would be required to pay $80 and this would increase based on the number of acres on your property. Landowners with no residents living on the property would pay $50 for up to 50 acres. Owners of commercial structures would pay 6 cents a square foot.
Captain Matthew Rush said that like many other EMS providers, Southeast Shelby County Rescue is having difficulties getting reimbursed for ambulance transports.
“We run 2,500 calls a year estimated out of this station for those areas effected and we only transport about 50% of that which we don’t get reimbursed for the other 50%. Well, of the percent we do transport we’re getting 40% of reimbursement from insurance and the people who don’t have insurance,” Rush said.
Rush said if Southeast Shelby County Rescue does not get the measure approved, they would not be able to provide a stable system for EMS and could impact wait times for many in the community.
A final town hall meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday night to address the issue at Wilsonville Baptist Church. Officials with Southeast Shelby County Rescue EMS are asking people in the community to come out if they have any questions surrounding the upcoming vote.