New Coffee County Emergency Response

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Coffee County officials hope a new plan will speed emergency response by as much as ten minutes.

In cases of stroke and heart attacks, seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

Enterprise Rescue is expected to increase its coverage area by nearly 500 additional homes. Captain Sean Gibson says the Coffee County Commission has agreed to appropriate $750 a month for Enterprise to cover the extreme northeast section of the county. It should speed response time to that area by a minimum of 10 minutes.

"We pick up another type-three ambulance. We pick up additional personnel as well. It’s more than adequate and improves our service when looking at the service call volume."

Elba's rescue squad has covered the northeast quadrant, but test runs indicated that Enterprise could reach it faster, and for long-time Elba coroner Marvin McIlwain, time is of the essence in a medical emergency.

"Definitely makes a difference between life and death. To assist the citizens of Coffee County is our main concern."

Coffee County's E-911 coordinator says it's not a question of Enterprise being better than Elba's EMT, but a difference in roads and transportation.

"Can travel up Highways 167 and 51 because they are state routes. It’s better routes these state roads."

Local officials stress that both Enterprise and Elba have excellent response teams, that it all comes down to who can get to the emergency first.

Enterprise Rescue is expected to provide coverage to the northeast section of Coffee County beginning early next month.