Ambulance committee meeting set

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County Commission’s ambulance committee is scheduled to meet on Jan. 13 at the EMS office in Midtown.

It will be the committee’s first meeting since new committee appointments were approved in October.

Commissioner Ron Berry said the lack of meetings is shocking considering the problems facing the county’s ambulance department.

“There just doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency,” Berry said.

Commissioners could have some tough decisions to make about the ambulance department in the coming months.

Financial problems facing the ambulance department are so bad that officials are now mulling the prospect of outsourcing the service.

The seriousness of the situation is one of the reasons why Berry said he’s been frustrated about the lack of meetings.

“It’s probably the one department that really needs attention, and I can’t imagine why we haven’t been giving it any,” he said.

Commission Chairman James Brummett is the convening chairman of the ambulance committee.

He said the committee is limited in what it can do.

“We’re an advisory committee,” he said. “That’s all we are. I think some commissioners get carried away thinking we have all the power.”

The Jan. 13 meeting is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.