Richmond Co. BOE reverses decision to remove ambulances from football field

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

News 12 at 11/ August 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga--A new game plan for Richmond County schools.
Board members have decided to leave ambulances on the sidelines when football players hit the field in about two weeks.

Richmond County PTA President, Monique Braswell, said, "$24,000 is not enough money to put a child's life in danger."

It's a decision she felt threatened that and had her speaking out to News 12.

"The board was listening to the parents, the media was listening to the parents and in the end, it all came together," said Ms. Braswell.

A whole different ball game at Tuesday afternoon's Richmond County Board meeting. About two weeks ago, members wanted to remove ambulances from the sidelines at school football games and put EMT workers there instead.

Richmond County Deputy Superintendent, Tim Spivey said, "I felt like after we started getting a lot of negative publicity and the parents and so I looked at it as maybe, you know, having an ambulance at the game would probably be the best thing."

That game plan would have saved them $24,000.

Ms. Braswell said, "I think that they looked beyond the money, I really, really do. I think that when they went back to the table and looked beyond the money and saw that children's lives mean so much more than any dollar amount."

Mr. Spivey said, "Just the visual of seeing an ambulance there will puts some parents' concerns at ease."

But, one member says it is too costly for comfort.

BOE member, Jack Padgett said, "If it's a comfort level feeling, I get very comfortable saving $25,000."

As Jack Padgett stresses it's an idea the school system can't afford with current ambulance rates, another member cites a News 12 interview with an ambulance service.

Jimmy Atkins said in the meeting, "A spokesperson for that board was kind of criticizing the board for our decision."

This latest decision is getting much praise from Ms. Braswell. "I'm very happy I think the board made the right decision. It's what the parents wanted.'

They hope to come up with a more cost-effective contract with ambulance crews in the future.

But this year, they said a deciison had to be made now with the first game just a few weeks away.

Click to see previous coverage below:
-The Inside Story: 'High probability' Richmond Co. school board will reverse decision to remove ambulances from football games
-Only on 12: Richmond Co. PTA slams board decision to remove ambulances from football games

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