BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners has selected Lifeguard Ambulance Service as the county’s next EMS provider.
The board approved the decision Monday, March 2, during its regular meeting.
The board met with representatives from Lifeguard and Mitchell Medics Friday, Feb. 28, in a lengthy special session.
During the March 2 meeting, the board again moved to go into closed session to further discuss terms with representatives from both organizations before coming to a decision.
After more than an hour in closed session, the board reconvened in open session and awarded Lifeguard the five-year contract that will cost the county $1.358 million annually.
Vice chair Matthew “Vern” Grindstaff said the decision to go with Lifeguard was not an easy one.
“This was probably the most difficult decision for me in my tenure as a commissioner,” Grindstaff said. “You guys would not have been my first pick, but I have no tangible reason to vote against you, so I will not. I was very impressed with both companies. This has been a grueling decision for me.”
Commissioner Danny Burleson echoed Grindstaff’s sentiments and added, in the end, it came down to money.
“Mitchell County is tight with money,” Burleson said. “We’ve got to look at that. It’s strictly the money. It’s nothing to do with any other thing.”
Board chair Jacob Willis said both companies impressed the board with their presentations, making the decision difficult.
“We can’t find a difference between the two of you in your proposals and what you’re willing to do,” Willis said. “The difference is the money, but we appreciate both of you.”