County approves contract for area ambulance service

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Osage County Commissioners recently approved a one-year contract with a Stroud-area ambulance provider to provide much-needed emergency medical services in the Barnsdall/Avant region area.

Under the contract, Samaritan EMS will have a coverage area of approximately 250 square miles. Service is expected to begin in late July.

The contract proposes paying Samaritan $18,000 per month, although specifics regarding the source of that payment were still being worked out.

Barnsdall and Avant have been without ambulance service since Eagle Medical Transport abandoned the area more than a month ago.

Commissioners held special meetings to solicit bids from prospective ambulance providers. They originally hoped to restore service for the area by July 1. County action on the issue were delayed until then to allow for the start of a new fiscal year.

Town councils in both Avant and Barnsdall recently approved adding a fee on their utility bills for funding the ambulance services. Estimates indicated that the amounts generated by those fees will cover about a third of the contract’s proposed monthly fee.

On a temporary basis, the county is expected to pick up the remainder of the ambulance contract’s amount.

The agreement requires Samaritan EMS to provide a full-service ambulance for the area and to have a second ambulance vehicle on stand-by.

Officials for Samaritan said the company was needing to locate living quarters to accomodate its crew, as the existing Barnsdall ambulance barn was needing major repairs.