In April of 2017, the ambulance service experienced the sudden drop of hospital administration and financial support as Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton, KY was permanently closed. Three communities were being challenged with the new reality of having no local hospital, while also facing the possibility of the discontinuance of emergency medical services. KenTenn EMS began operation in December of 2017 in response to the closure to continue providing the medical care the area desperately needed.
At inception, the service was left with very little usable equipment, causing the organization to incur significant debt in the purchase of ambulances, stretchers and cardiac monitors. While the necessity for membership has always been present, this created the need for additional funds and greater participation from our service communities. The voluntary community membership program was officially formed in July of 2019, with the $17 monthly fee supplementing the agency's loss of funds from low insurance reimbursement and offering members prepayment of services rendered.
The staff of KenTenn EMS have a combined average of 10-12 years experience in prehospital care. Training is conducted each month, with competencies biannually, and a 48-hour continuing education refresher course on top of monthly education. EMT's and Paramedics hold certifications in both Kentucky and Tennessee. We look forward to serving our communities on both sides of the state line each day!
One thing is for sure, this area has struggled to fund an ambulance service dating back to the 1960's. Interestingly enough, in 1963, the city of Fulton enlisted the help of Hornbeak and Whitnel Funeral Homes as both agencies used their hearses for ambulance transport.
While the ambulance service has survived and remained in consistent operation, it has also consistently struggled. Throughout the changes in format of the service, from city owned, county wide service, hospital owned, or even split-service, the service is needed, yet it struggles financially.
KenTenn EMS kindly requests that local individuals and businesses become a member of the service. Despite popular opinion, the service cannot be funded on insurance billing alone, as history has proven. Revenue generated from the membership program helps benefit both the service and its members. With community support and participation, we can ensure the future of KenTenn EMS.