Logan County Courier’s Mark Radford contributed to this article.
A special meeting was held Friday evening in Crescent to discuss the future medical needs for citizens when it comes to needing an ambulance from the Crescent EMS district. The agenda called to seek closure of the service.
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The ambulance board intended to surrender their license and no longer provide ambulance service for the district, but out-spoken members of the community requested more time to come up with a plan.
A motion was made to discontinue the service from President board member Craig Lotz, but the motion failed after not receiving a second motion. Soon after, the board responded with a 3-0 vote to table the discussion for a later date.
Board members claim they have made several attempts to seek EMT volunteers and qualified staff members to cover their district of approximately 1,500 residents, but have not been able to fill those positions.
The district just saw four volunteers resign leaving the district with only two EMT’s on staff, who have full-time jobs
At the heart of the problem lies funding issues. Lotz says the district can only afford to pay minimum wage ($7.25).
The ambulance service will stop operations beginning Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. The district will then depend on mutual aid services from nearby towns of Guthrie, Kingfisher and Cashion for all medical calls. First responders could come from Guthrie, located 15 miles away, with an approximate 18-minute drive time.
The board voted (3-0) to begin working on a contract agreement for full-time service.
With the ambulance service unable to fulfill state health mandate, by providing 24 hour coverage, seven days a week, the district would fall out of compliance and could undergo review from the State Health Department, where possible action could be taken to remove their license.