BOC to address issue of paramedic pay


EMS Director Danny Thompson

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – The Board of Commissioners will tackle an issue that has become a problem throughout the state and nation, – attracting and retaining full-time paramedics when it meets in a voting session Thursday afternoon.

The voting session will immediately follow a work session that begins at 4 p.m.

Two weeks ago EMS Director Danny Thompson informed the Board that three full-time paramedics have left the county in the last couple of weeks and that he has seven full-time firefighter/paramedic six part-time firefighter/paramedic vacancies but only one application in the past six months.

The problem is that the county has to compete with larger counties with larger budgets as well as hospitals and private companies, all of which pay more than Dawson County.

Thompson presented commissioners with three Paramedic and Educational Incentives plans that have a price tag range of $75,592 to $207,276 annually.

The Board will also consider Thompson’s request to purchase an ambulance and equipment at a cost of $395,000. The department has $240,000 available from impact fees and will need $155,294 to make the purchase. Thompson said he has five ambulances and three have logged more than 130,000 miles.

Other items on the voting session agenda include:

  • A public hearing on the adoption of a Broadband Ready Community Ordinance that would allow the county to apply for funding through state grants;
  • A request by Kyle Woody to rezone 1.5 acres of TMP 097-009 from RA (Residential Agriculture) to RSR (Residential Sub-Rural) for the purpose of subdividing the parcel per RSR guidelines of the parent parcel and building a primary residence;
  • A request by Corey Gutherie requests to rezone 6 acres of TMP 053-015 from RA (Residential Agriculture) to RRE (Residential Rural Estate) for the purpose of subdividing the parcel per RRE guidelines;
  • A request by Larry Bishop to rezone TMP 104-022 from RA (Residential Agriculture) to RSR (Residential Sub-Rural) for the purpose of subdividing the parcel per RSR guidelines;
  • Consideration of Intergovernmental Agreement Between City of Dawsonville and Dawson County Concerning Trail Infrastructure for Pedestrian Access Between Main Street Park and Library;
  • Consideration of Board Appointment of Don Cargill to the Library Board.

Items that will be discussed during the 4 p.m. work session include:

  • Presentation of Ambulance Billing Ordinance and Policy Change;
  • Presentation of Request to Accept FY 2021 Georgia Trauma Commission EMS Trauma Related Equipment Grant;
  • Presentation of FY 2021 Legacy Link Contract Addendum No. 2;
  • Presentation of Request by Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne to Use Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VI Overage Funds;
  • The appointment of David Yenerall to the Library Board;
  • A discussion of Special Tax Districts by Commissioner Tim Satterfield;
  • County Manager Report.


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