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Aging ambulances and radios pose public threat

Courtesy FOX 31,

Albany FITZGERALD, GA. -- In Tuesday night’s meeting, Ben Hill County commissioners voted and approved the purchase a new fire truck for the Emergency Medical Services.

We're only in the second week of 2014 and Ben Hill EMS has already covered over 100 calls.

EMS officials may be able keep up with demand for now, but with only six ambulances they may not be able to continue this way for long. Officials say two vehicles need to be replaced.

The agency has extended its coverage area which puts more miles on the aging ambulances and this also means more maintenance costs.

Ben Hill commissioners are hoping the new ambulance gives paramedics the reliable transportation they need and hopefully cuts back on maintenance costs.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, county leaders voted to perform a study that will improve the radio communication system for county agencies.

Sheriff Bobby McLemore brought forth serious concerns about a lack of communication between officers. He said the radio system for the Ben Hill Sheriff’s Department is outdated and posing a safety issue for deputies.

The study is expected to take three weeks to complete and will include all emergency response radio system including EMS, fire, and the Sheriff’s Department.

Commissioners will hand over the requests of the sheriff to the consultant and have them work together to get the best system for the department.