Escambia Florida EMS Looks To Cut Atmore Ambulance, Flomaton Response

July 13, 2017


Escambia County may soon provide ambulance service to the Walnut Hill and Bratt areas while cutting out Flomaton as a primary response area.

Atmore Ambulance has provided ambulance service for the Walnut Hill, Bratt, Davisville and surrounding communities in the 327 telephone exchange since 1978. A similar agreement is in place between Escambia County (FL) EMS and the Escambia County (AL) Healthcare Authority for Escambia (FL) EMS to provide ambulance service in the Flomaton area as far north as I-65.

Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry said  Wednesday that “there are serious issues” with the service level provided by Atmore Ambulance. “They are not responding in any what that we can depend on the response currently, and that’s not much value.”

Public Safety Director Mike Weaver has requested that the Escambia County Commission include 12 new EMT’s in his budget for next fiscal year, including four crews of two to staff an Escambia County ambulance in the Highway 97 area.  Preliminarily, the ambulance would likely be stationed at the Walnut Hill Fire Station on Highway 97, but Weaver said he would like that location eventually moved further south toward White Ash Road  to provide a broader response area into Molino.

An Escambia County EMS unit is currently stationed at EMS Post 50 on Industrial Boulevard in Century. It is the primary responding unit in the Flomaton, AL,  but Weaver wants to end that response across the state line, allowing increased availability for northern Escambia County.

Any changes depend on the budget approved by the commission for the fiscal year beginning October 1. Escambia County’s contract with Atmore Ambulance is to expire in November.


26 Responses to “Escambia Florida EMS Looks To Cut Atmore Ambulance, Flomaton Response”

  1. EMT1 on August 14th, 2017 3:29 am

    I have never understood why Escambia County, Florida EMS responded to the Flomaton area. DW McMillan owns and operates a clinic in Flomaton on Highway 113, and has for years. DW McMillan also owns and operates an ambulance service in Brewton at the main hospital location. The investment of another ambulance or two and crew members based out of Flomaton by DW McMillan would be a great community service. The Alabama based service could take Alabama calls and provide quicker coverage to I-65 than a DW ambulance coming from Brewton. It makes sense. So, I don’t understand why local leaders are not pressuring DW into facilitating this.

  2. trish on July 28th, 2017 11:45 pm


  3. James Taylor on July 19th, 2017 2:21 pm

    All I can say is that this is pitiful. Petty arguing amongst pity politicians and the citizens for taxpayers have to suffer

  4. William on July 16th, 2017 10:18 pm

    >>>Now the Post Office is operated by Escambiia River Electric personnel to cut out another Federal job for the North end

    Not exactly true…the Walnut Hill Post Office has been operated as a contract post office for as long as I am familiar (25 years or more). EREC has operated it for the past 20 years or so as a contract post office.

    If they did not operate it, we would not have a post office in Walnut Hill. It’s a much appreciated community service.

  5. Lady on July 16th, 2017 10:00 pm

    Here we go again. Saying they are going to give better service to all of us in North Fl. Pensacola politicians do not enen know we are up here. You can mention Walnut Hill, Davisville, Bratt and a lot of the “powers to be” do not know we are a part of Escambia County, Fl. Until time to pay taxes. We do not even have a health clinic up this way. We have a building that I think was built for that but they say it is operated by the Sherriff’s Dept but as of this day I have never seen ANY of them down there. Guess they pay the light bill – not even sure about that. Now the Post Office is operated by Escambiia River Electric personnel to cut out another Federal job for the North end. Atmore Ambulance has been serving our area for many years so guess they are going to establish an ambulance up here . Mr. Barry does not ever have time to check on us. We have Nokomis Road that was never finished and so narrow you can hardly pass on it.. I asked him for some help just one time and because I wasn’t one “in the click” it was never granted. We cannot get a North end Commissioner because the way lines are drawn we will always get the short end of the stick and not enough votes to get a “community person” Just my thoughts.

  6. Cry Baby on July 16th, 2017 7:26 pm

    I think that AAS has done a gr8 job serving the Walnut Hill area, I am not familiar with their staffing or other issues but whenever one is need of medical help, I really don’t care who answers the call because they are doing that as far as I know. Now about my Cry Baby part…..This is Walnut Hill, not Chicago…. do we ALWAYS have to run the sirens on EVERY Transport 24/7? The emergency lights should be sufficient??

  7. Safebear on July 15th, 2017 8:46 am

    I’ve seen people posting here about paying Atmore Ambulance to cover Walnut Hill and surrounding Florida area and how Escambia County needs to take care of its own. However, not one of you has acknowledged that Escambia County Alabama pays Escambia County Florida for the Century EMS unit to cover Flomaton and Surrounding area. They both cover about an equal amount of area in each others state. I’d really like to see the statistics on how many calls Florida runs in Alabama and vice versa. I’d also like to see some stats on how many times Atmore or Brewton or Jay has had to cover something in Flomaton because Escambia couldn’t respond and vice versa there too.

    I worked for Atmore Ambulance and Escambia EMS from 1977 – 1988 and the problem with setting up another crew in the Walnut Hill area is that most of the people will come from Pensacola and will get lost. I lived in Flomaton and Escambia EMS actually installed a radio in my car so that on my off time I could be called to either respond to an incident or get on the radio at all times of the night/day to tell a crew how to get somewhere. This was before Flomaton FD had radio contact with the crews and 99% of them had pagers. Yea, I’m that old.

  8. EMD2 on July 14th, 2017 10:46 am

    The BCC is great about blaming everyone else but themselves. First off, the reason why ECEMS can’t cover their own districts is because staffing levels. Staffing levels across the board I might add ( FIRE and dispatchers too)! Lets figure out where the low staffing level stem from…..You guessed it! The BCC! The BCC are the ones who approves ECEMS, Dispatchers, and the FD budget (pay). Public Safety first responders are paid extremely low for the amount of work and life risk they put in to each and every call and they’re not fully compensated for what they do. Of course they will have to find other jobs in the area for instance, Navy Federal. Navy Federal pays and compensates their employees well! The BCC will keep employees and staffing if they compensate their first responders appropriately. You will be staffed efficiently if you paid the first responders for this county like they should be paid. Don’t blame Atmore either! Atmore also has days where they are extremely busy and don’t have enough units to cover their county and ours! Escambia is in the same predicament! Citizens don’t believe the BS in the media! The first responders that are responding to your emergencies care about you whether or not we are from Escambia or Atmore. If we have a bad day and you happen to run into us, we might have a had a horrible call just before your emergency. We are also overworked and underpaid! But we are still here and still work for close to minimum wage. Thank you first responders for everything you do whether you are from Atmore or Escambia! I’m ashamed of our BCC bashing others when they are the ones holding all the cards! Rant over.

  9. Ann Benner on July 13th, 2017 10:14 pm

    Since the death of my sister and her husband, Pat and Merrill Still I have seen a steady decline of the services of At more Ambulance.
    I was a Paramedic for this service for 30 years. We took great pride in being the best !
    I pray that the transition of this service to Esc Cry Fl goes well and th and remaining service ,Atmore Ambulance owned by Frank and Karen Jay will do what needs to be done to provide the service our city deserves.

  10. old man on July 13th, 2017 8:49 pm

    here we go again two units in north end of the county and they are already short staffed now where do you think the money is going to come from to pay for this we have already had an increase in property tax for fire protection IF IT AINT BROKEN DONT FIX IT someone stated use a private contractor well that is what you have with E CAT an i am paying 4 cent a gallon more for gas so someone can drive a bus to cenrty twice a day with few or no passengers you cant staff 2 units for what you pay atmore and for those that bad mouthed the EMTs they are like law enforcement when you need them you will be glad they work long hrs and put up with a lot crap and you dont care where they come from

  11. Johnny on July 13th, 2017 5:35 pm

    I agree not only can florida not maintain their own area in century, how do they think they can cover more area?, they rely on Atmore Ambulance, DW. McMillan Ambulance and Lifeguard to cover the century area when they don’t have a unit. There has even been times where an ambulance from brewton has had to go catch calls in walnut hill area because neither service had units available. But they are willing to trash these alabama services in the media and the news, but i bet if this plan does happen, when they have an emergency in florida in the walnut hill area and they can’t cover who are they going to come calling for help from? and are they going to expect these services not be compensated for their time or effort when the patient has no insurance or ability to pay? I think the citizens of century need to speak up about this as well, I am willing to bet they would rather an alabama ambulance get to them in 15 minutes versus one that is coming from downtown pensacola that will take 40 minutes. and you can’t always rely on the helicopter ems services to land at every scene.

  12. Michael Weaver on July 13th, 2017 4:50 pm

    Why does Escambia county feel the overpowering urge to control everything???? They need to hire private contractors that can do the job properly. The county has no business in the ambulance business, jail business, or garbage business.

  13. Stephen on July 13th, 2017 4:22 pm

    In all honesty, please someone in EMS, working on a regular basis advise me of an ambulance service that isn’t short staffed. show me an ambulance service that doesn’t pull away trucks and have coverage come from 25 minutes away sometimes. All I have to say is that Atmore Ambulance may have fallen on hard times but there are still employees getting up at 2am after going to bed at 1am that will be there when the emergency arises. lets show appreciation to the ones that have came into the community tried to treat it like home. Thank you AA, kinda funny AA, Atmore Ambulance Huh.

  14. John on July 13th, 2017 3:57 pm

    This will end well. The county already can’t cover the lower half due to lack of staffing. And they expect to cut trucks in the north?!

    How about you fix the revolving door and poor management that is causing your short staffing BEFORE you go cutting even more trucks….

  15. FSUfan on July 13th, 2017 3:56 pm

    Robbie and Karen do as good a job as you can with the resources given. People in EMS make very little money as it is and have to work long hours. Now before you say, “they chose this” yes you are right they did. They chose to go many nights without sleeping, finishing a meal, any holiday time, just so that they could be there in your time of need. Please, remember that all EMS personnel are not doing this for wealth but because they have a sense of duty to their fellow man.

    Thank You Robbie and Karen, you have done the best you can and instead of harsh words, I only have gratitude for those who you touched.

    God Bless Robbie and Karen

  16. EMD on July 13th, 2017 12:58 pm

    Please do not do this. I wish government would quit “fixing” what “ain’t” broke. Please leave well enough alone. Just do your job in the best way for the people you serve………..not to try and “prove” you are doing your job, or for whatever reason. I think this is a bad idea. I could be wrong, but do not think that I am. The people here know their way around. And, that alone provides the best response time.

  17. Jason randy on July 13th, 2017 12:28 pm

    Im glad this coming to an end. We need to stop helping Alabama and let us take care of our own selves. For years this needed to be addressed. Praise Jesus!!!!

  18. Mom on July 13th, 2017 10:55 am

    I have had both come to my home and if I had my way only Atmore would come here! They are so much friendlier and listen to the patient!

  19. jim leath on July 13th, 2017 9:58 am

    To Mr Barry: A couple of years ago my wife was in great need of an ambulance. My call to 911 resulted in a unit from Atmore being sent and did the transport. The reason being there had been a major wreck on I-10 and every unit in the north end of the county was tied up for that. I know from personal use for her that the crew did a good job. I know this was just a one time need for me but they did a good job. I some times feel that our government at all levels, be it county/state/federal try to reinvent the wheel on so many things.I know you are trying to keep the budget going in the right direction and have done a good job of that. Please let well enough alone on this.

  20. Resident on July 13th, 2017 9:40 am

    Yes…much needed!

    God Bless Karen & Randy with Atmore Ambulance! I can’t imagine running business where you must provide service to people regardless of their ability to pay.

    But when ambulances break down frequently on the way to/from or while on calls, when continual temporary employees get lost as a 10 minute response turns into 30, when a know it all temp drives through a LifeFlight LZ, when you call LifeFlight just to avoid a drive Pcola bcause you are Level 0 back in Atmore, and you are continually Level 0. And when you make certain mistakes…lives are at risk.

    If Escambia EMS provides the unit, it can cover not only Walnut Hill but the very busy Molino district. as well. Century and Walnut Hill units can compliment each other and provide backup.

  21. North end flash on July 13th, 2017 9:29 am

    Absolutely not increased in Escambia County putting an ambulance in the North end. Remember it will take two (2) people 24 hours seven days a week, housing for these people. More of our taxes dollars being spent, when we are getting the best coverage that can be had by Atmore Ambulance, they are very well trained and respond quickly in Florida. The new people will not know the area and histamineswill they be pulled to Pensacole to answer calls. Also, is Escambia County trying to put a small company out of business?


  22. Tom Benner on July 13th, 2017 9:15 am

    Just want to say something about Mr Barry comment Not much value. I have work for Atmore ambulance from 1983 to 2014 and I can tell you we made Fl a priority to make the calls when needed. They do the best they can. I can guarantee you Escambia Fl cannot put a truck up there for what the Florida contract pays Atmore Ambulance.

  23. M in Bratt on July 13th, 2017 7:28 am

    It’s about time. Escambia County Florida should be responsible for providing these services to all it’s citizens. Now if Sheriff Morgan can start keeping his deputy’s on the Florida side of the border, Florida citizens and business could be better off all the way around.

  24. Will on July 13th, 2017 7:16 am

    Escambia County is in no position to criticise another agency about response abilities with as short handed as they are. How are they gonna say that they can’t depend on Atmore to cover Walnut Hill, but they’ll use having Atmore as an excuse to pull the Century ambulance to run calls in Pensacola because they don’t have the staffing to adequately cover there? Also, if they can’t staff what they’ve got, how are they gonna find the staff to man the new truck that’s going to cover Walnut Hill? Currently, if the Century ambulance runs a call in Century/Flomaton or even over in Walnut Hill/Bratt and sometimes Atmore when there’re unavailable, and has to transport to a hospital in Pensacola, it’ll more than likely get stuck in Pensacola running calls leaving the north end without an ambulance. Only a matter of time before someone dies up here because of this, hope it never happens though. North Escambia is getting the shaft when it comes to adequate ambulance coverage, and it may get worse.

  25. Sam on July 13th, 2017 5:40 am

    Hate to see this. Next the two communities will stop responding to fires. This is not beneficial to either.

  26. Jase on July 13th, 2017 3:33 am

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. The organisation that’s short staffed already is going to criticise somebody else’s response level. If you can’t fully staff what you’ve got, how are you going to man more trucks? Why not focus on fixing your problems before trying to undertake such an initiative. Also, if you wanna increase ambulance availability for the north end, start with ending the common practice of pulling the post 50 truck to Pensacola to cover calls leaving Century, McDavid, and Molino without ambulance coverage. You wanna say Atmore has sub satisfactory response, yet, you use them as a crutch for your own sub satisfactory response to Century/Flomaton when that unit is in Pensacola running calls because you can’t provide adequate coverage down there either.

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