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July 21, 2009
MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service Donates Time, Talent and Resources to Ensure EMS is Available to a Rural Georgia Community

MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service President/CEO, Pete Quinones along with Cobb County Commissioner Tim Lee and Georgia State Office of EMS Director, Billy Watson held a brief ceremony to hand over the keys to two fully operational ambulances that MetroAtlanta Ambulance Service has donated to the citizens of Georgetown-Quitman County.

Over the years, cooperative agreements with surrounding agencies in Clay and Stewart Counties have worked for short periods of time, but the current economic environment and infrastructure in this area just make it difficult to sustain reliable ambulance coverage for Georgetown-Quitman County. “Two hour waits for an ambulance in an emergency situation places lives in danger and we can’t have that,” said Quitman County Commission Chairman Richard Morris. Earlier this year, when county officials released a request for proposal (RFP) to provide ambulance services for the County there was no response. Sam Cunningham, Region VII EMS Coordinator stated, “There just isn’t enough tax revenue generated or call volume in Quitman County to adequately pay for the EMS services needed and providing EMS services is expensive. A private service depends on call volume to generate revenue and Georgetown-Quitman doesn’t have enough calls to make it a profitable or even breakeven business. We also found that not a single resident living in Georgetown-Quitman County is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician so not even a volunteer service was a possible alternative until recently.”

Pete Quinones, President and CEO of MetroAtlanta Ambulance said, “I’ve been working with Sam [Cunningham] to help find a way to provide coverage for some of these small South Georgia communities for more than 10 years. It was appalling to me to know that every county in Georgia didn’t have EMS coverage. I felt compelled to do something. The residents and officials of Georgetown-Quitman have been working diligently to find or start an emergency service program but could not seem to get a break. I hope our commitment allows them the opportunity they need to succeed.”

Region VII EMS Coordinator, Sam Cunningham stated, “Pete Quinones has a servant’s heart and has done more over the past 20 years to help shape Emergency Medical Services in Georgia than a lot of people in this industry will ever know. He goes quietly about his business making good things happen simply because it’s the right thing to do and the donation of these ambulances to Georgetown-Quitman County is a shining example of just how special a person he is and the type of organization he has created.” Georgetown-Quitman County officials hope to have the service up a running by August of this year.

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