A brief History on the Livingston County EMS service
The initial transport service was owned and operated by Phillip Smith of Smith's Funeral home. The County purchased its first ambulance in 1973, which was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Ruddell Bonds of Smithland until 1978. Angel of Mercy entered into an agreement with the county in 1976 to assist in providing emergency medical care and transportation to the county's residents free of charge. Patients who were transported by Mercy were billed for their services. The Fiscal Court solicited proposals in 1978 to operate an ambulance in conjunction with the Sheriff's office. Ralph Smith assumed operation of the service in 1980 for $2,000 per month subsidy until 1983, during which time the service continued as a basic life support provider.
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Ramage operated the service from 1983-1988, then from 1988-1998 by Dethel Ramage (no relation) during whose tenure the purchase of the services first automatic cardiac defibrillator. In 1998 Phillip Ramage again took control and progressed the service to Advanced Life Support "Paramedic" Service.
Due to various factors the Fiscal Court opted in January 2000 to contract with Mercy Regional EMS to provide administrative services and supplement staffing. During which time the service was based out of the remodeled city pool building.
Operations were returned to County control in September 2001 under the direction of Randy Free. After Mr. Free's departure Mr. Rodney Grabell was granted the director position until his departure at which point Mrs. Tracy Rudolph (now Mrs. Hodge) was appointed director in early 2008 under the leadership of the newly formed Livingston County Ambulance Board until for various reasons she departed in 2011. In 2009 the Ambulance Board along with the support of the Fiscal Court made the decision to open two new stations, with one being located in Burna and the other located between Smithland and Grand Rivers. This decision was made so we could shorten the response time reaching the sick and injured. This decision along with assuring that each EMS unit has a Paramedic on it has proven to save lives.
In 2011 after the departure of Mrs. Rudolph (now Hodge) and during the Great Flood, David Koon, Charles Watkins and David McDowell were already acting as daily shift Captains so the Board charged them with the operations of the service until a new director could be hired. It should be noted that during this trying time these three gentlemen performed very well given the pressure they had been placed under.
In July 2011 the Board hired Mr. Rick Driskill whom is the current Director.
The new director upon examination of the status of the current fleet of ambulance service noticed that there were some points of concern in the long term service life of the units in current operations. It was established that the prior directors for whatever reasons had not opted to establish a fleet rotation nor a preventive fleet maintenance program. This is not uncommon with inexperienced directors. After a very long process it was decided to purchase a new unit that will allow the correction of two issues the service currently faces.
#1. This heavier duty type unit has a longer service life expectancy.
#2. The purchase of a higher quality unit on the front side will allow the service to remount the ambulance box for a higher return and longer service life for its investment.
The service has also corrected the issue of a preventive maintenance program in an attempt to prolong the life of its current fleet.
Chief Driskill along with the staff of the Ambulance Service would like to thank the Ambulance Board and the Fiscal Court for their support, not only in the purchase of this new unit but also for their commitment to the mission of our service, to provide the highest level of service to the citizens of Livingston County allowable.