Breckenridge Texan

Stephens Memorial Hospital District Board set to finalize emergency ambulance contract on Thursday

Stephens Memorial Hospital District Board set to finalize emergency ambulance contract on Thursday
December 18
10:17 2019

The Stephens Memorial Hospital District Board of Directors will meet at noon on Thursday to finalize the contract for emergency ambulance service for Stephens County and Breckenridge. During their Nov. 21 meeting, the board voted to accept the bid by American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Inc. (AMR). Under the contract, the company is scheduled to begin providing emergency service on April 1, 2020.

Although the contract is between the hospital district and AMR, there is an interlocal agreement with the City of Breckenridge and Stephens County to share the costs equally.

“There was a task force of the three taxing entities that reviewed the bids and selected AMR and recommend to the board to accept that bid,” said SMH Interim CEO/Administrator, Doug Smith. “So they made the recommendation to the board of the hospital district to accept that bid.”

Smith said that, although the board has already accepted the bid from AMR, there were some changes they asked the company to make in their contract before they signed it.

“There was some language changes that we asked them make, and they’ve made all those, so I believe the meeting is to approve the final draft of that contract so it can be signed,” he said.

Smith also said the City of Breckenridge and Stephens County, the other two taxing entities that share the cost of providing the service, have already approved the changes to the contract.

Although the board voted to go with AMR as the area’s emergency ambulance provider for the hospital, there have been discussions on social media by citizens and representatives from the current ambulance service, Sacred Cross Emergency Services, pushing to continue with that service.

“We are trying to get as many citizens as possible to show up Thursday, Dec. 19, at noon in red to show their support for keeping Sacred Cross the ambulance service in Stephens County instead of going with AMR,” Ellen Watkins, an employee for Sacred Cross, wrote in a Facebook message to the Breckenridge Texan on Tuesday.

There is also an online petition, “Keep Sacred Cross in Stephens County!!” that was started by Cassie Boggess three weeks ago on the website change.org. As of Wednesday morning, 534 people had signed the petition.

The Stephens County Hospital District board meeting is set for noon, Thursday, Dec. 19, at the O.C. Heairren Annex on East Williams Street behind the Breckenridge Medical Center.

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Photo courtesy of Stephens Memorial Hospital website

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