Vital Cares’ appeal to the LaFollette City Council last month for half the emergency calls in the city has escalated into a lawsuit being filed against the county commission.
The commission promptly discouraged the ambulance services request for the calls, saying the Campbell County Ambulance Service could not afford to give up half the emergency calls.
Last week, Vital Care spokesperson Douglas Young appealed to the council. Young said the council was endangering its citizens by supporting a monopoly.
“You need a responsive medical service and you are a separate entity from the county,” said Young.
Though Young used the forum to express allegations about the management of the county service, he was an advocate for competition.
“You should not reward the county ambulance service because its failing, its loosing money,” said Young. “Don’t blame it on competition, this country was founded on competition.”
After a lengthy argument in favor of Vital Care, City Administrator David Young read a letter from Michael Mann with the city 911 board in response to the request.
“The city may want to consider enacting an ordinance that will protect the health and safety of LaFollette residents,” read David Young. “I’d recommend that the city take a wait and see action before issuing any approval or denial until the current chancery court litigation is resolved.”
In response to the letter Douglas Young said he was not questioning the city’s authority to create monopolies, rather he questioned the wisdom of doing such when another company is doing a fair job.
“I ask you to be cautious because we are talking about the safety of the citizens,” said Douglas Young.
The council did not discuss the issue further.