Commissioners agree to hire EMS consultant to evaluate EMS system

Steve Nash
Allegiance Ambulance paramedic Stephen Ratliff shows the operation of a power stretcher in a June 2014 photo.

Brown County Commissioners agreed Monday to hire a consultant to evaluate the EMS system in the county and develop a request for proposals for EMS providers, with the city councils of Brownwood, Early and Bangs poised to consider participating in the agreement. 

The consultant, Health Care Visions of Argyle, will also guide the selection of a qualified provider and new EMS contract, according to an agenda item briefing sheet for the Brownwood City Council’s meeting on Tuesday.

The contract of the current EMS provider, Allegiance Ambulance, expires at the end of this year.

Bangs City Council members were to consider “the city portion of EMS consulting services with Brown County” at their Monday night meeting, and Brownwood and Early council members will make up similar items at their Tuesday meetings.

The total cost of hiring Health Care Visions is $20,000 and will be shared by the county and the cities, with expenses not to exceed $5,000. The county’s share of the cost will be just over $11,000.

“We have met with Early, Bangs and Brownwood and have come to the conclusion that we would like to go out for bids for ambulance service,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Joel Kelton said. He said it’s a matter of “trying to find the best deal financially for the county.”

Steve Athey, president of Health Care Visions, said he has talked to commissioners and city officials about EMS issues. “I think I can assure you that you will get a fair process and you will find the best ambulance provider you can get with the resources you have in this county,” Athey said.

Last May, Guardian EMS assigned the EMS contract with the county to Allegiance Ambulance, which bought Guardian.