New ambulance service facility can't get here soon enough

By JASON PATTERSON,

Yazoo County plans to begin construction on a new building for the ambulance service near the District 3 Fire Station soon.

For the employees occupying the current facility, completion of the new building can’t get here soon enough.

The deteriorating condition of the ambulance service building has been a topic of discussion at county meetings for years. The problem has now reached a level of urgency, however.

A rat infestation and flooding issues is making life miserable for Pafford employees.

Doug Degruise, local manager for Pafford EMS, said the building’s days are numbered.

“The place is falling apart,” Degruise said. “We have rats in there, and the other day when it flooded in the back of the building it filled up with crickets after it warmed up. I almost started selling live bait out of there.”

Degruise had told the board about a rat getting in the bed of an employee stationed overnight at the facility. Efforts to control the rats have seen limited success.

“We put out some rat traps and the rats are so big that when they pop a trap they just shake them off and keep on going,” Degruise said.

Degruise said computers had to be moved due to flooding inside the building.

“If there is something we can do to help with construction, we will gladly help,” Degruise said. “I’ll get a shovel and get to work myself.”

Road Manager Jim Warrington said county workers can begin constructing the foundation for the new building as soon as the weather is dry enough.

“We already have the building plans, and we’re just waiting for bids on some of the work,” Warrington said.

Cobie Collins, president of the Board of Supervisors, said that the process of constructing a new building has been delayed by efforts to obtain a $50,000 grant from Rural Development to help with funding. Collins said that the process dragged on for so long and so many strings were attached that the county finally decided to proceed without the grant.

“I promise you that the county is going to take a serious approach on this,” Collins said. “You should be in the building by late spring.”