Clay County Mayor Dale Reagan confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the county is in the process of taking over the ambulance service.
Ambulances and staff are being moved into county facilities as of 4:30pm Tuesday. Reagan said the county wanted to ensure residents had medical service.
The entire ambulance staff walked off the job Monday after Celina Mayor Luke Collins said he was changing medical directors. The change came, according to sources, because Collins had a deal to reopen the Cumberland River Hospital and the new operator wanted its own medical director on the job.
Surrounding counties continued to provide ambulance service to Clay County residents Tuesday.
When ambulance staffers walked off the job Monday, Overton/Pickett EMS, Jackson County EMS, Macon County and the state were jointly providing ambulance service to Clay County residents. Outgoing EMA Director Andy Hall said Monday the city had enlisted an outside firm to provide ambulance service. A source said the service arrived Monday but only worked part of the day. A source Tuesday said that the outside firm is no longer in Clay County at all.
Celina Mayor Luke Collins said in a text “no one would believe the truth” and refused to answer questions about the situation.
An alderman told us he has heard no communication Tuesday about Monday’s postponed meeting of the Celina Board of Aldermen. That meeting had been publicly called last week to vote on a new medical director. Dr. Tad Duke met with County Commissioners Monday night during a planning meeting and said he wanted to resolve the conflict with the just-resigned ambulance staff. Duke told commissioners that under the current scenarios being discussed, Cumberland River Hospital would reopen as a Rural Emergency facility with limited in-patient beds.
Celina operates the ambulance service for the entire county. The county pays for part of the service through an existing contract.