Ambulance-Service Deal Covers Ark. Town - @ JEMS.com


Ambulance-Service Deal Covers Ark. Town


 
 

Mike Linn | | Tuesday, January 29, 2008


LITTLE ROCK,Ark. -- Residents of the city ofEudora,Ark., can rest easy come Thursday knowing an ambulance service after more than a year without one will be available to theChicotCounty town of 2,531.

Officials signed agreements with SouthArk EMS of Hamburg to cover Eudora andChicotCounty, excluding the cities of Dermott andLakeVillage, which are covered by two other ambulance companies.

"They're going to station an ambulance here in Eudora, finally!" Eudora Mayor William Stanton said. "We are very excited, yes sir." For the past year, the city ofEudora has had no guaranteed ambulance service to transfer residents to hospitals, a problem Chicot County 911 coordinator James Cathey said reverted the town near theLouisiana border back to the Stone Age.

Emergency Ambulance Services Inc., a Pine Bluff company with an ambulance station 16 miles away in Lake Village, did make runs to Eudora on a case-by-case basis about 85 percent of the time but the service wasn't guaranteed because no contract was signed.

That left Eudora without reliable service.

SouthArk EMS owner Shannon Shaver said he decided to bid on a contract for service to Eudora andChicotCounty because he didn't believe a county should have uncovered areas.

"It's despicable in our opinion that a county the size of Chicot has two ambulance services and there's still portions of it not being protected," he said.

SouthArk EMS will begin servicing Eudora andChicotCounty at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and will continue to service them through Jan. 31, 2011, according to the contracts.

Shaver said the company will offer group memberships to individuals for $45 a year and to families for $49 a year. Those who purchase a membership will have reduced ambulance bills, Shaver said.

"Everybody down here is looking forward to the new service," said Jeffrey J. Look, a Eudora attorney hired by the county to help draw up contracts with SouthArk EMS. "It will give people the peace of mind that if they have a heart attack, there will be an ambulance available to pick them up." The contracts call for South-Ark EMS to have an ambulance stationed in Eudora and another ambulance stationed nearLakeVillage, home toChicotMemorialHospital.

A second agreement says that the three ambulance companies will share out-of-county transfers from the hospital in the event a patient doesn't choose an ambulance provider. Emergency Ambulance Services Inc. will retain all in-county transfers.

SouthArk EMS, since it covers the county and Eudora, will get out-of-county transfers from the hospital two weeks a month. Emergency Ambulance Services Inc. and another ambulance company in Dermott, Elite Medical Services Inc., will each get outof-county transfers one week a month.

Ambulance company owners have said they make much of their money on transfers.

Prior to this agreement, Emergency Ambulance Services Inc. had all the out-of-county transfers from the hospital when patients didn't have a preference for a particular ambulance company.

The deal prompted Elite and a fourth ambulance company, EMS of Southeast Arkansas, to file a federal lawsuit against Emergency Ambulance Services Inc., the city of Lake Village, Chicot Memorial Hospital and Chicot County alleging they violated the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause and antitrust laws.

Jim Dintelman, owner of Elite, said he doesn't know how the new transfer plan will affect his lawsuit, although he said he is happy his company will make out-of-county transfers from the hospital at least 12 weeks out of a year.

He said he is glad ruralChicotCounty and Eudora now have reliable ambulance service, although he questioned whether three ambulance companies can survive financially in ruralChicotCounty.

"As far as the long-term financial stability of the three companies, it's just going to be a wait and see thing," Dintelman said.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Legal and Ethical, Operations and Protcols, Vehicle Operations

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >