Residents in the City of Hoover, and beyond, will soon have an extra life-saving measure at their disposal–thanks to the Jefferson County Commission. For several years, the Commission has given medical rescue transport units to unincorporated fire districts as well as municipal departments that assist with mutual aid. This time around, they decided to give one to Hoover. 
“We’re all in this together. We’re stronger when we work together and help out,” says Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens. “The City of Hoover has been a great partner with the county moving forward, going outside of the City limits to areas that may not have much coverage and this is our way of showing gratitude.”  
The County uses money from the American Rescue Plan Act to purchase the units, which cost around $250 thousand to $260 thousand.  
“I had talked to the County Commission about a year or so ago about the possibility of us getting one of the units because we do cover a lot of unincorporated Jefferson County and they were optimistic about us getting one,” says Hoover Fire Chief Clay Bentley.  
In 2023, the Hoover Fire Department answered 77-hundred emergency medical service calls. Of those, more than 52 hundred resulted in a patient being transported to a local medical facility.   
“We already put two new rescue units in service in 2023 that the City purchased. We have another rescue unit that is coming in the first quarter of this year that was purchased through a FEMA grant. And then, this rescue unit that we’ll be getting from Jefferson County will just be added to our fleet, which is desperately needed,” Bentley explains.  
He points out the unit from the county will be the first the city has owned that operates off of gasoline instead of diesel. And instead of a van type model, the new unit will be what’s called a “type one” which has a 450-cab and chassis with a transport box on the back. 
“It gives us a little bit more room in those units to carry structural firefighting gear because our paramedics are cross-trained,” Bentley explains. “It also allows us to rechassis that box after so many miles. We could buy a new chassis and put that box on that chassis and it could save us some money. From my perspective, they’re the safest because the boxes are larger. The vehicle has four tires on the back instead of just two. So we feel like those particular units are safer for our personnel.”   
Bentley points out that nationally, transport services are facing a number of challenges, especially private companies that may not pay as well or offer as many benefits as municipalities can. He says officials in Jefferson and Shelby County recognize those hurdles and taking steps to ensure residents have the transport services they need. 
“I feel that the Hoover Fire Department does an exceptional job in transporting every day and taking care of our patients. I’m not going to tell you we’re the best, but I’m gonna tell you we’re trying to be the best that we can be every day. And we appreciate Jefferson and Shelby County’s helping with the equipment and resources that we need to stay where we are. 
“Hoover has always had a great relationship with all the commissioners. They’re very supportive of our city and we’re very supportive of the County Commission and we’re very proud of that partnership. We are just grateful that they considered us in this donation.”