Bullard feels County taking advantage of our electricity and fire Station by having EMS in White Springs

There is really a difference that is more prevalent today about people’s reactions.  It appears the majority of people in White Springs run off of emotions and the others on sheer logic.  Let me give you an example.

Last evening’s meeting again addressed the Fire Department Agreement which was tabled in December’s meeting until this Month’s meeting.   Instead of the Town being grateful for having Hamilton County EMS (Since before there was no EMS which would respond to the Black population East of Mill Street), Councilor Rhett Bullard indicated that “The Town of White Springs is not responsible to provide EMS”, after Fire Chief Steve Stith Stated 50% of all the calls are EMS calls.

A prudent man or woman would be extremely happy to have Hamilton County EMS so close to White Springs to assist our older population especially and those who are being hurt by the drug trade in White Springs, but Not Rhett Bullard or Spencer Lofton.

Rhett stated that Commissioner Ogburn indicated Hamilton County EMS receives about $154,000 from Suwannee County to provide EMS Services.   It was stated by Bullard that since the County (Per commissioner Ogburn) uses our Fire Station for EMS, it means Hamilton County EMS has a facility where they are closer to Suwannee County to provide the services.     Bullard asked if we really are the same as Jennings and questions whether Jennings is really the same as White Springs in that Jennings may not be housing Hamilton County EMS units like White Springs.

The hold-up on the contract is attributed mainly to the fact that the Hamilton County Agreement requires one certified fire fighter to respond with an EMS unit.  It’s logical for most of us because incidents may involve such things as extrication from a vehicle while medical is required; or smoke inhalation which requires both, but that is not how the emotional Manager, Mayor and Bullard respond.  Councilor Bullard dislikes that portion of the agreement and the fact that if it is not followed to the letter, pay will be deducted by Hamilton County.  Apparently White Springs was told by County Coordinator Louie Goodin that White Springs should try the contract out for a year, instead of two years, and that may be a consideration.

The fact that we have to send a firefighter to each call was discussed ad nauseam.  Every time a call is missed money would be deducted and it was stated White Springs has a duty to take care of the City (Which the Town is not under the current fire chief who states there are three firefighters within a five mile radius of White Springs which is not believed).  Walter who asked about the number of firefighters which there are ten, also agreed with Councilor Bullard saying, it doesn’t make sense.

Then Fire Chief  Steve Stith indicated that in entering the fire station that evening, EMS had left every light on in the fire Station.  Councilor Bullard was then upset that Hamilton County doesn’t pay electric or anything for the fire station and that it is costing us money, because “we are doing it for free.  We are working with them”.  Steve Stith said he had made that argument to the County and the County had just stated, they could find another place to stage their EMS unit.

Seriously White Springs emotional councilors of two, why on earth would you complain about electricity when we the residents are so happy to have Hamilton County’s EMS unit in White Springs.  It could save lives since EMS services are a godsend to the residents and are 50% of the calls required for service.  We should provide electricity.

Then Councilor Bullard was upset with the fact that under the old contract the County paid for 50% of the repairs which the county is not doing any longer under the contract.  Frankly, in my opinion, I feel Hamilton County should just take over our Fire Department, the Fire Station for a $1.00 a year, and have the County’s emergency vehicles run out of White Springs eliminating Stith, Greene and the fake firefighters who have no intention of fighting fires in White Springs.  Hamilton County would care for the White Springs residents far better than White Springs with the current three member gang of Councilors.

Then Councilwoman Miller suggested we just make that change to the contract and sign it.  Councilor Bullard said but under C2 it states No amendment may be made unless it is signed by all of the parties.   I have worked with hundreds of contracts in my life, and if the stipulation about the firefighter having to accompany EMS for calls is a problem and it was discussed as being a lenient option by Hamilton County, then just take out the one word discussed and sign the contract.  I am certain the County would notarize their signatures again with a written in change.

Our Town Manager was then asked about the cost of Electricity used by the County, for which all electricity for residents or other than Town Hall holds a 10% Tax, you will recall.  Ms. Tebo could not answer that question raised by Mayor Lofton.

Again it was stated that Jennings is not the same as White Springs because we allow the County to use our building and electricity and the question was, “Does Jennings?”   It is the Town’s intention to again contact Louie Goodin, because it is felt Jennings and White Springs are not the same.


Then Walter McKenzie stated he will be attending a meeting and asked permission to speak to Coordinator Louie Goodin at that event.  They did not wish Walter McKenzie to do any negotiating but he was allowed to tell Louie Goodin to contact Ms. Tebo.  In Fact, Mayor Lofton said the Town Manager and the Fire Chief were the only ones who may meet with Louie Goodin, no matter what Walter McKenzie’s relationship is with Louie Goodin.

Councilor Bullard stated, it has been the same for Ten years and now everything has to change with the County.  When Bullard questioned whether the Standard Operating Procedures for Hamilton County were those of the State of Florida, Chief Stith explained that the County utilizes the States requirements with those of Hamilton County and it is standardized.


The fire agreement signed by the County in September again was tabled, requiring a further conversation with Chief. Land and Coordinator Goodin.


Karin Griffin for the blog



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