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Rutherford County Purchase of Used Refrigerated Trailers Includes Large Inventory of Gloves

April 14, 2020

Rutherford County, TN—

Last week, Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron approved the purchase of three used refrigerated trailers at the recommendation of Emergency Medical Services Director/County Coroner Carl Hudgens.

Rutherford County purchased the trailers (no trucks) at $7,500 each. During negotiations with the supplier, Ketron was told the company would include a large amount of food service gloves in the purchase at no additional charge. The units were delivered last week, with the last one being delivered on Friday, April 10. Hudgens and other RCEMS representatives counted almost 20,000 boxes of food service gloves on Tuesday. “These boxes run around eight dollars apiece,” said Hudgens. “This means we got a tremendous deal. The gloves alone would have cost around $160,000; instead they were included with the purchase of the trailers.” The food service gloves will be distributed throughout Rutherford County to schools’ cafeterias, nursing home facilities, the Sheriff’s Office, and agencies and organizations prepping and delivering meals to those considered “food insecure” in the County. “These should last us several months,” said Hudgens. Hudgens made the recommendation to Mayor Ketron to buy the used refrigerated trailers as a proactive measure in anticipation of the Medical Examiner’s Office in Nashville becoming backlogged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “On average, the County has around 18-20 deaths per month that require an autopsy,” said Hudgens. With limited space for the deceased at the two hospitals in the county, Hudgens explained to Ketron that the deceased could be placed in refrigerated trailers while awaiting autopsies. “It is imperative that we preserve them, so we can maintain the integrity of the autopsy,” Hudgens told Ketron. The purchase was made from the County’s General Fund. The budget amendment was presented to the Budget Committee on Thursday, April 9 and will come out of the unassigned fund balance. Mayor Ketron commented on the inclusion of the gloves, “We are grateful for this opportunity to pay it forward to the many organizations in our county that will put them to good use.”

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