SEALE, AL (WXTX) - A new ambulance company is setting up shop in Russell County and the old company is on its way out, but the county is having a hard time getting them to leave.
Russell County Commissioners recently voted to not renew the contract they had with Care Ambulance Service and instead bring in a new company.
"The committee unanimously voted to give the new contract to Life Line," said Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor.
Life Line will offer ambulance coverage all over the county and save nearly $30,000 per year compared to Care Ambulance.
Taylor explained, "In emergency life support system transport its $200 more than Life Line per call and on a non-emergency support its $150 more than Life Line."
Now that the decision has been made, it's time for Care to move from the Seale location, but Sheriff Taylor says they aren't leaving peacefully, "Care has decided to padlock the building and they didn't think they quite agreed with what the commission did so they said: we're not getting out."
The Regional Vice-President of Care Ambulance, Douglas Tisdale rebutted, "We've been there for years and years. We have tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment in there, IT and technology stuff, and it takes some time to get it out."
While the county says Care has had ample time to vacate the property, Tisdale maintains they will turn over the building to Life Line, "We have not purposely run up the power bill or padlocked the doors, that's an unsafe thing to do and we're in the business of saving lives, not wreaking havoc."
Sheriff Heath Taylor says they have had more than a month to leave, and now they have to be forcefully removed, "What the county attorney has done today with commission is the approval to go ahead with the eviction process and the lawsuit process."
Russell County is suing Care Ambulance for interference of contract, but there will not be interference in service. Life Line has already been working in the county for the past few weeks.