Medical Center ambulance employees face uncertainty

alopez@macon.comFebruary 7, 2014 

A row of ambulances sits outside a Medical Center administrative center Friday afternoon.

Ambulance employees from The Medical Center of Central Georgia met with management Friday afternoon about the end of their employment with the hospital.

According to several reports by employees, all Medical Center paramedics, EMTs, dispatchers, ambulance department supervisors and trainers were asked to interview with Mid Georgia Ambulance, a private ambulance company.

As of March 1, Mid Georgia Ambulance will employ all ambulance crews and take over operations in the four counties the Medical Center now serves, including Bibb, Baldwin, Jones and Twiggs counties, employees said.

The Medical Center described the changes in a Tuesday news release as a “joint operating agreement,” but hospital officials would not comment further.

Calls and emails to Mid Georgia Ambulance over several days were not returned.

One paramedic told The Telegraph she interviewed with Mid Georgia this week and was offered a position at $6,000 less per year than she currently makes with the Medical Center. She said another veteran paramedic was offered a $30,000 reduction in annual pay.

And even though Medical Center ambulance personnel were told everyone was guaranteed employment, at least two employees were already denied employment offers, the paramedic said.

Angry Medical Center ambulance employees complained to management, with some of them requesting official letters of separation, and Mid Georgia interviews scheduled for Friday were canceled, the paramedic said. Medical Center employees were asked to meet with management at 2 p.m, she said, declining to be identified for fear of retaliation.

“I have to fight for a job, too,” she said. “We are uncertain about the future of our careers right now.”

The paramedic said there are a lot of angry people. “We have no idea what is going on,” she said.

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 744-4382.

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