Perry County is taking strides toward establishing its own ambulance service, reducing dependency on third-party contracts. Chairman Albert Turner of the Perry County Commission has confirmed this development following news of a substantial grant awarded to Marion Military Institute (MMI).
MMI has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA), according to DRA Director, Mr. Corey Wiggins. The funds will be used to bolster MMI’s First Responder Program, facilitating the expansion of its training capabilities. This will enable Fire Cadets at MMI to acquire national Emergency Vehicle Operator certification and on-site Fire Apparatus: Pumper certification.
The Perry County Commission is actively exploring a partnership with MMI. Under this arrangement, the college program would serve as a resource for personnel for the county-run ambulance service. The potential collaboration was announced by Dr. Shane Lee, Chairman of the Perry County Hospital Board, during a Perry County town hall meeting held on June 9, 2023.
The new direction appears to be leaning toward county ownership of the ambulance service, a move welcomed by the local community. In preparation for this change, a job fair was held at the Albert Turner Sr. Courthouse Annex on June 14 and 16, 2023.
Chairman Turner expressed gratitude toward Mr. Wiggins for the grant, viewing it as a significant step toward Perry County taking control of its healthcare future. Turner emphasized the importance of continued collaboration between the county and the government in achieving this goal.
The Perry County Commission is considering the purchase of a 2024 ambulance vehicle as part of its healthcare resurgence plans. However, according to Mr. Glenn Crawford, a consultant for the commission, a new unit would require a 6- 8 month delivery period.
The DRA grant is part of a larger $11.7 million investment in 28 projects across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.