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Luke Collins: Hopes Of Reopening Cumberland River Hospital Gone

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Luke Collins: Hopes Of Reopening Cumberland River Hospital Gone

Celina Mayor Luke Collins said the hopes of reopening Cumberland River Hospital are now gone.

Collins said after working for a year and a half, he had originally hoped to see the hospital open on July 1st. He said they wanted to bring a new emergency helicopter that would help with responses as well.

Collins said that the owners of the hospital told him that they were not willing to fight EMS or the county on the hospital anymore.

“After some EMS folks was kind of ugly to the doctor the other night after the meeting I think they decided to go where the community wants them a little more,” Collins said.

Collins said most times when doctors try to come to the community to open a hospital and bring an emergency helicopter they are welcomed with open arms. He said now, the hopes of the hospital and the new emergency helicopters are gone.

“After that, I just turned the ambulance service back over to the county it was obvious that’s what the county wanted, it’s what the EMT people wanted, it’s what the state guy wanted,” Collins said. “So I thought that it would be best to do that because it’s a serious thing, you just don’t want to gamble with people’s lives.”

Collins said he did not foresee the turmoil that would come from trying to reopen the hospital. He said that he also owes owner Johnny Presley an apology.

“He thought there would be some problems there and I said ‘No way this is going to go great. Nobody’s going to be against it and everything is going to be fine,’” Collins said. “But anyway he was right and I was wrong. I thought everybody want a hospital but now everybody doesn’t.”

Collins said the efforts were seriously stalled once all the EMS staff turned in letters of resignation, leaving the community without emergency coverage. Collins said obviously that is a serious and dangerous situation, and he thanks the neighboring communities and the state for their assistance.

“Anyway we were working hard to get it resolved,” Collins said. “And then anyway unfortunately there was a meeting (Monday) night and there were some ex-EMS employees and they had kind of followed Dr. Duke outside and anyway I guess it was just an attempt to intimidate him or scare him or something.”

Collins said everybody is different and there is nothing wrong with not wanting a hospital and they can agree to disagree. He said when you get into politics you hope you can win the important things, so this is a disappointing development. Collins said he would like to hope that sometime in the future, someone will renew these efforts.

“We’ve got a great community even without a hospital,” Collins said. “Celina is a great town and we want to invite people to come out and have people come and visit, spend some money here or move here, it’s a good place to live. There’s good people here.”


The post Luke Collins: Hopes Of Reopening Cumberland River Hospital Gone appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.