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Staffing shortage leads S.C. county into emergency agreement with transport service

A staffing shortage in Orangeburg County led to a three-year contract with MedTrust Medical Transport for additional EMS coverage



By Gene Zaleski
The Times and Democrat

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Orangeburg County will enter into an emergency agreement with MedTrust Medical Transport, LLC to provide supplemental emergency medical services for the county.

The county will enter into a three-year agreement with the transport company with the first year’s payment totaling $1,094,824.

According to the agreement, the contract payments will be adjusted annually on the agreement’s anniversary date for each remaining year.

Orangeburg County Council gave County Administrator Harold Young the authority to negotiate with the company on the agreement.

“This is to help augment the EMS service when we have to provide additional trucks and help provide the best services to the citizens of Orangeburg County,” Young said.

Young said the contract will provide two additional ambulances for the county and the contract will include the cost of the ambulance and the personnel.

“We have done this before. During the height of COVID, we added extra trucks and that helped provide additional services,” Young said. “It keeps the current staff we have now because of the shortage from being burned out from running as many calls.”

One of the trucks will be located at John C. Calhoun Drive across from the Biddie Banquet and the other will be based on call volume and will most likely be stationed either in the eastern or western end of the county, Young said.

On a good day, the county has access to about seven ambulances countywide, Young said. On an average day, it has about four.

Young praised emergency medical employees in attendance at the meeting for their dedication and work in service of the county as well as thanking other emergency and law enforcement personnel for their response during the recent Tropical Storm Idalia.

Council took up the following matters during a meeting last week:

—Council gave unanimous first reading by title only to an ordinance dissolving the Regional Medical Center board of trustees. The legacy board will be dissolved Oct. 1.

Both Orangeburg and Calhoun County councils have to agree to dissolve the board as both counties own the hospital.

The legacy board has been in place since March 1, when the Medical University of South Carolina took over operations of the hospital.

MUSC entered into a 99-year lease for $1 a year with the hospital. The partnership was deemed necessary to help the hospital, which was consistently operating with significant deficits.

The legacy RMC Board has been responsible for closing out and maintaining specific financial accounts, such as payroll obligations, fees and pending litigation matters. Officials say the board has fulfilled its responsibilities.

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