thursday – april 28, 1966

The Board of County Commissioners met in special session in the Commissioners’ Room in the Courthouse in Tavares at 4:00 o’clock p.m. for the purpose of hearing arguments for and against a private ambulance service for Lake County.

Chairman Theus called the meeting to order with the following members present:  Commrs. Theus, Cowart, Dykes, Livingston and Babb.  Also present were Clerk Owens, Attorney Duncan and Deputy Norma Coven.

Chairman Theus announced this meeting was called at the request of the Lake County League of Municipalities; whereupon, he directed the Clerk to read a resolution adopted by the League of Municipalities requesting the meeting for the reason the funeral directors of Lake County intend to discontinue ambulance service as of May 1, 1966.

Commr. Dykes requested Clerk Owens to read a statement written by him pertaining to this subject.  A copy of the statement was distributed to all interested parties.

Mr. Harold Turville, Clermont City Councilman, requested Mr. Theus to relinquish the Chair as Chairman and also as a member of the Board due to a conflict of interest in this matter.  The Chairman stated until this matter is put to a vote, he will preside but will step down at that time.

Robert M. Hendrick and Burton Brown, President and Vice President of the League, were spokesman.  Mr. Hendricks stated this is a state problem and not just a county problem and presented several solutions which might be considered.

Gary Pickren of ABC Ambulance Service, Deland, appeared and made the following offer to the Board for a private ambulance service in the County:

5 Ambulances in 3 locations with 18 employees, plus expenses

Cost of operation                                $103,748.00

2100 calls per year @ $20 per call        42,000.00

3 Ambulances in 3 locations with 10 employees, plus expenses

Cost of operation                                $59,788.00

2100 calls per year @ $20 per call    $42,000.00

Mr. Pickren said this service cannot be handled on a profitable basis without a subsidy from the County.

Mr. E. E. Herndon of Herndon Ambulance Service, Orlando, appeared and made the following offer for a private ambulance service:

3 Ambulances in 3 locations – Cost of operation      $56,080.00

2100 calls per year @$20 per call                             $42,000.00

Attorney Duncan reported he and two others had gone to Tallahassee and discussed this problem with the Assistant Attorney General.  The Governor has been apprised of this statewide problem and had requested an opinion from the Attorney General as to whether or not the Governor has the power to issue a directive to the Boards of County Commissioners within the State of Florida to provide emergency ambulance service for the general public.  It is the Attorney General’s opinion that any emergency of this type does not exist, and the Governor does not have this authority.

Mr. Duncan further stated this Board needs to establish a policy whereby the County will pay so much for indigent patients and for police and highway patrol emergency calls.

After considerable discussion and on a motion by Commr. Dykes, seconded by Commr. Cowart, the Board adopted the following resolution:


WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, have been advised by the Funeral Directors in Lake County, who have for many years furnished ambulance service to the citizens and residents of Lake County, that they are compelled to cease rendering ambulance service to the people of Lake County; and that such service will be cut off as of the first day of May, 1966, and

WHEREAS, because of the cessation of rendering such ambulance service, the Funeral Directors contacted private organizations which do render ambulance service and are in a position to handle such service from an economical point of view.  And as a result of such inquiries, Herndon Ambulance Service, Inc. of Orlando, Florida, has offered to render ambulance service to the residents of Lake County, beginning with the first day of May, 1966, at 8:00 a.m. and

WHEREAS, in order to insure such service as the County is authorized to pay, it became necessary for the Board of County Commissioners to establish a policy for the payment of ambulance services within Lake County, within the Statutory provisions authorizing the Board of County Commissioners to pay for such services;

NOW THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED by the Board of County Commissioners of Lake County, Florida, that the Board of County Commissioners will pay for ambulance service rendered within or emanating within Lake County as follows:

1.     Lake County will pay the sum of $15 for transportation of any resident of Lake County qualified as an indigent by ambulance from any point in Lake County to any other point in Lake County, including tuberculosis patients.  In the event such ambulance transportation is required to go beyond the boundaries of Lake County, Lake County will pay 50 cents per mile one way, commencing at the point of pickup to the destination point, in addition to the $15 charge.

2.     Lake County will pay for ambulance service originating through the Sheriff’s Department for Lake County or the State Highway Patrol which may be required for transportation of patients from accidents on any State highway originating in Lake County the sum of $20 per call.

3.     In the event of emergency, Lake County will pay $5 for each tank of oxygen required.

4.     In the event the ambulance transporting a patient under either of the above conditions is required to wait at the point of destination because of inability to move the patient from the ambulance, the County will pay to the ambulance service the sum of $15 per hour.

5.     In the event the ambulance service is called by the Sheriff or the Highway Patrol to the scene of an accident but no ambulance service is required, Lake County agreed to pay for such call the sum of $15.

6.     The Ambulance Service agrees to locate within Lake County three ambulances, one in each Hospital District of Lake County, and will furnish such other rolling equipment as may be necessary to serve the public needs for which Lake County is responsible.

Municipalities within the County being represented as follows agreed to pay to Herndon Ambulance Service, Inc. $15 per call for calls originating from their police departments:

            Mayor Emmett Hill of Umatilla

            Mayor Burton Brown of Leesburg

            R. J. Schneider, Councilman, representing the Mayor of Eustis

            W. M. Haywood, Jr., President Tavares City Council

            J. P. Turner, President Mount Dora City Council

            Mayor Joseph BonJorn of Clermont

Mayor Puryear of Groveland stated the City of Groveland has no money in its budget for this expense.

There being no further business to bring before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 5:45 P.M.


___________________________________                          ______________________________

CLERK                                                                                   CHAIRMAN