The interior of the newly constructed building for the ambulance service near District 3 Fire Station remains unfinished as the county board continues to accept bids for its completion.
The Yazoo County Board of Supervisors questioned a quote that was provided to them during its open meeting last Friday. A company from Jackson provided a quote of about $198,000 to complete the interior of the building. However, county leaders felt the quote was too high, perhaps even inaccurate.
“Maybe it was a quote for the construction of the building,” asked Donna Kraft, county administrator.
Some of the interior work, including electrical work, cannot even begin until the interior is finished.
The county board agreed to pursue more accurate quotes for the interior’s completion.
The progress of the new ambulance building can’t come soon enough for the Pafford employees, who occupy the current facility behind Kaye’s Food Market. The deteriorating condition of the ambulance service building has been a topic of discussion at county meetings for years.
Doug Degruise, local manager for Pafford EMS, said the current building’s days are numbered. He said the conditions inside range from a rodent and roach infestation to flooding and possibly even mold.
“The whole back side of the building is waterlogged and falling in,” Degruise said. “We have a roach problem because of how wet it is inside, and we have a number of electrical issues. It has been rough, but we still just deal with it and do our jobs.”
Degruise said a drain was installed outside of the building to help with the flooding issues. But it was also one drain on a high elevation.
“We have to get out there with shovels and dig it out because there is no other drain for the water to go,” he said.
Degruise said a local volunteer, Durwood Pettis, has even brought his own equipment to the current facility to help with dirt work.
“On his own time and using his own equipment, he has come moved dirt so that the water could drain,” Degruise said. “But over time, that same dirt builds up again. Richard Pickens also provided us with an old fire hose so that we spray around the building.”
Degruise said there are about six to eight employees at the current building during a normal shift. Degruise said, speaking to former employees, he has been told that the current building has been in a poor condition for close to 35 years.
“Yazoo is a place my crew loves, and we are happy to be a part of it,” Degruise said. “We live in that building for 48 hours during our shifts, and we consider this place part of our home. We love it here, and we love the people. But the current building’s condition is awful. We are more than ready to continue our jobs at the new building, and we hope that it will be completed soon. We are ready, been ready, to move.”
In the past, the county board said the ambulance service would be inside the building by late spring of 2020. A year later, the waiting game continues.