After months of attempting to secure a backup ambulance service, Judge-Executive Al Mattingly signed an agreement with Evansville-based Deaconess Hospital at Thursday’s Fiscal Court meeting.
Mattingly said a local physician suggested he talk with Deaconess after a very public disagreement with Owensboro Health over not providing the backup service. The Judge-Executive said Deaconess was interested in the agreement and easy with which to negotiate.
Questioned on why the City of Owensboro was not present for those negotiations, Mattingly said that Daviess County Fiscal Court governs the entire county, which includes the city.
“The fewer the cooks you have in the kitchen, the better the meal ends up being,” he said. “As we found out with our agreement with AMR, we had a lot of people we had to satisfy.”
While Mattingly does not expect to ever execute this agreement, he is glad to finally have a backup provider in place after openly expressing his disappointment that Owensboro Health was not willing to provide the backup service.
Should AMR, Daviess County’s newly-signed ambulance provider, give notice that it will no longer fulfill its contract, Fiscal Court will still be able to negotiate with other companies to secure a replacement provider. If officials could not secure a new provider at the end of the six months required notice, only then would the Deaconess contract be implemented.
County Commissioner George Wathen asked if that were to occur does the backup agreement indicate which hospital patients would be taken to, to which Mattingly answered no.
County Commissioner Mike Koger thanked Deaconess for “stepping up to the plate,” addressing Jared Florence, vice president of business development for the Evansville-based hospital, who was present at Thursday’s meeting to sign the long-awaited agreement.
“There was no one else out there, evidently, that was interested,” Koger said. “You have to have a back up plan for our community.”