Tuesday, October 9, 2012

James O'Neal Wilson/Florence Ambulance

This is James O'Neal Wilson, a man with a criminal history dating back several years. Lest you think the above photo depicts Wilson in Halloween costume, this mug shot is from a June 2012 booking for Public Intoxication and Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Monday evening at approximately 7:30, Wilson was driving on Hendrix Road when his truck left the road and struck a 13 year-old boy who was taking out the trash for his family. Tae Ingram died later that night at ECM Hospital.

The Lauderdale District Attorney's office has a hold on Wilson, so he won't be bonding out immediately. Let's hope the DA's office can find appropriate charges for this scum bag.


A Guest Commentary by Hank Thomas

Since the local news will not report to any degree on the City Council vote for a new ambulance service for the city of Florence, I feel a few  facts should be made public. First, the present ambulance service had only 1 complaint in 40,000 calls for service. This is an outstanding record for any type of business. Second, the present service held their prices to the current prices now being charged to the citizens of the city and the county. The bids to provide this service were equal on all aspects, according to representatives of the city and county with the exception of the pricing. The service company awarded the contract, pricing is almost twice as much as the present service provider. The bid laws of Alabama as i understand them, require government entities to consider all aspects of a bid and if all things are equal and all parties meet the specs of the bid proposal then the bidder with the lower price should get the bid.

I have not heard a reason for choosing the higher bid, and do not understand how the council can move forward considering my understanding of the Alabama bid law. This will be an added costs to someone already experiencing a life changing event simply by being in need of ambulance service.

The Lauderdale County Commission will vote on who to award the ambulance contract on Monday the 15th of October. This is a city and county service contract covering both areas of Lauderdale county. Please contact your commissioner and let him/her know your feelings on this matter. I feel sure some of the commissioners will take the position that with the city taking the action they did, then they must follow suit. I do not believe the commission has to vote as the city does, if so why have a commission, let the city make decisions for the county. In my opinion, the county can vote to take the lower bid and cause the bid process to be reopened to try and achieve the lowest cost for the citizens of Lauderdale county, while still receiving the best service possible.

Please do not take my letter as an endorsement of either bidder. I just believe the citizens of the city and county should ask their representatives to consider the cost to the citizens when all other aspects of a bid are equal and meet all specs. Your voice is important, let it be heard.



1 comment:

  1. The new ambulance service is a much better service than the old one and are offering MUCH better services and QUICKER response time. They have state of the art ambulances and a very qualified medical staff, NOT just hiring young, inexperienced staff right out of school so they dont have to pay them much. My life and well being are worth alot more than a little bit more $$. Think about it!