Godbold’s plan: Have city Fire Department operate ambulances
Here are some of the top news stories of this week in 1967 compiled from the Jacksonville Public Library’s archives by Associate Editor Max Marbut.
City Council appeared to support a proposal to put the city Fire Department back in the ambulance business — at least for a 60-day period. Council members voiced no opposition to a plan put forth by Jake Godbold, who said the action should be taken “until the air is clear” regarding private operation of ambulance service in Jacksonville.
Council was considering whether emergency patient transportation should become a permanent city operation or continue to be operated by private companies, but under regulatory ordinances. At first, Godbold assumed that Council President Lavern Reynolds was acting mayor during the absence of Mayor Hans Tanzler, and asked Reynolds to “immediately turn over to the Fire Department operation of ambulance service on emergency calls.” A phone call to Tanzler’s office disclosed that Reynolds had not been designated acting mayor while Tanzler was attending a Florida League of Municipalities meeting. Godbold then said he didn’t think private operation of ambulances could continue after an incident involving two private ambulance services. Owners of the firms took out warrants against each other after a confrontation stemming from one of the companies picking up victims after an accident in Boone Park. Godbold also said he had talked to Fire Chief W.A. Jackson and “he is ready to roll.” It was estimated the cost for the Fire Department to operate the service for 60 days would be about $7,500.