Osage County commissioners voted Monday to seek proposals for ambulance service for the Barnsdall-Avant area.
Samaritan EMS, the company currently providing service, has decided not to renew its contract with the county, and commissioners will have to find out how many companies may be willing to step in and provide emergency medical care for residents of the Barnsdall and Avant communities.
Miller EMS, based in Medford, has already expressed a desire to take over responsibility for the affected area, but the commissioners will advertise for proposals. County officials indicated Monday that they hope to run a newspaper advertisement for proposals May 30, with a special meeting regarding the proposals to be held June 4, following the regular commission meeting that morning.
Matt Miller, owner of Miller EMS, made remarks to the commissioners in their May 14 meeting, and he was in attendance again May 21, though he made no remarks this week. Miller EMS already serves Fairfax and would like to expand its presence in Osage County.
There appeared to be some anticipation among commissioners that Miller EMS might be the only firm interested in the Barnsdall-Avant business at this point.
Jerry Roberts, director of Osage County Emergency Management, questioned if the county should specify in its advertisement whether it is seeking proposals for Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance service, or Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance service.
“Put as much specificity into your proposal as possible,” District Attorney Rex Duncan told the commissioners.
When asked May 14 about bringing ALS-certified personnel to work in Barnsdall and Avant, Matt Miller said it is a challenge to recruit ALS staff, but he would attempt to do so as possible.