Tanner Health System has completed its purchase of West Georgia Ambulance, ensuring emergency medical care remains headquartered in Carroll County.
Established in 1977 by Steve Adams, West Georgia Ambulance employs more than 60 people, including 27 full-time paramedics and 20 full-time emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Other staff work in support services, including fleet maintenance and billing. The company also employs several part-time paramedics and EMTs.
Adams, a long-time member of Tanner’s board of directors, sold West Georgia Ambulance in 1996, reacquiring the company in 1999 and leading the service since.
The West Georgia Ambulance fleet features 14 ambulances, each outfitted with advanced life support equipment. The fleet also includes vehicles used for the company’s administrative staff and fleet maintenance.
West Georgia Ambulance holds the 911 EMS Zone License for Carroll County — a special, perpetual license issued by the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Regional EMS Advisory Council. The license can only be moved to another ambulance operator if the council finds a move necessary to preserve public health. West Georgia Ambulance has held the license for 44 years, and the acquisition by Tanner ensures that the license remains under local control.
The company’s contract with Carroll County to serve as the county’s 911 emergency medical service provider has already been approved for renewal this year and will be active through 2028.
Under the contract, the West Georgia Ambulance provides six ambulances to respond to 911 calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Those ambulances operate out of six regional EMS stations — Bowdon, Clem, north Carrollton, south Carrollton, Temple and Villa Rica — ensuring a timely response to emergency calls.
In addition, West Georgia Ambulance provides patient transport services between Tanner’s facilities and for Willowbrooke at Tanner. The company also services Tanner’s Paramedic Home Visit program, following up on Tanner patients at their home within 24 hours of discharge to ensure they’re doing well and have all they need for a healthy recovery.
“West Georgia Ambulance has been one of our most important partners since taking over emergency response for the county in 1977,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner. “Their team has always worked closely with us. Bringing West Georgia Ambulance into the health system fosters a more cohesive, holistic approach to care for our neighbors and loved ones.”
Tanner joins other regional health systems in operating ambulance services, including Atrium Health Floyd in Rome and Grady Health in Atlanta.
“It has been a great honor for me to serve the county commissioners and people of Carroll County as president of West Georgia Ambulance for the past 45 years,” said Adams. “The time is right to pass the organization on to a local institution with exceptional healthcare credentials and expertise. I know Tanner will strive to enhance the emergency medical service experience for the employees of West Georgia Ambulance and the residents of Carroll County that they serve.”
With the acquisition complete, the process of onboarding West Georgia Ambulance’s employees will begin.
“West Georgia Ambulance has always felt like family,” said Howard. “Now, they are family.”