Administration and Leadership, News, Operations

TX Ambulance Service Lays off Employees for Four Hours

Photo/Liberty County EMS

One ambulance crew is back on the job at Liberty County (TX) EMS after being laid off Tuesday for four hours as the coronavirus pandemic caused some financial difficulties for the service.

That all changed when Liberty County EMS negotiated additional funding from Liberty County, according to Bluebonnet News. The service was first forced to cut expenses as revenue dropped by about 30 percent since the start of the pandemic, said Mike Koen, the ambulance service’s director.

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“We got into a losing money position, so we had to cut expenses,” Koen said. “When we did that, we immediately heard from County Judge Jay Knight and a couple of commissioners who were concerned.”

Infusing more money into the service means all three ambulances will run with two-man crews around the clock. Terms of the new deal, which need to be approved by the county’s board of commissioners, were not disclosed.

The county currently pays Liberty County EMS an estimated $500,000 a year for its services, which does not cover the cost of operating one ambulance. Koen said the service will be able to meet all its obligations through the increased payment from the county and through insurance and Medicare and Medicaid payments.