County officials get ambulance update

Nathan Thompson |
Osage County Commissioners sign the payroll agreement during their Monday regular meeting at the Osage County Courthouse.

Nathan Thompson/Journal-Capital

Osage County Commissioners heard from Brett Selvidge of Samaritan EMS Monday about the paramedic service’s annual report for emergency medical response in the southeast part of the county.

Samaritan primarily serves Barnsdall and Avant, but also provides additional medical response for other surrounding communities as needed. The contract with the company began in August 2016 after Eagle Medical abandoned the area in April 2016.

From April 2016 until Samaritan took over in August 2016, ambulance services from Bartlesville, Collinsville, Hominy, Owasso and Tulsa were responding to medical calls in the Barnsdall and Avant areas, causing extreme delays for people needing emergency medical attention.

According to Selvidge, from August 2016 to July 2017, Samaritan EMS responded to 340 calls. He said the response time since Samaritan took over has decreased dramatically.

“I’ve pointed this out before, and I’ll point it out again, these are 340 times where people didn’t have to wait 30 minutes to an hour to an hour-and-a-half for an ambulance, like they used to have to wait prior to our presence there,” Selvidge said. “That’s a good thing. I think we are well accepted by the community and we don’t get any negative feedback.”

Additionally, Selvidge said the company has repaired the relationship with Skiatook EMS, to provide mutual aid to Avant and other areas if Samaritan is unable to respond.

Of the calls where Samaritan EMS transported patients during the year, 62 percent were from Barnsdall addresses, 15 percent were in Avant, 6 percent in Pawhuska, 4 percent in Wynona and 4 percent had Skiatook addresses.

Selvidge said the company is looking into getting a new ambulance for the Barnsdall operation, however a recall on the Ford Transit vans for ambulances has delayed that decision.

“Now, Ford has done a recall on all of those because of a drive-shaft problem, so we can’t get those Transit models right now,” Selvidge said. “Ford won’t warranty those to be converted into an ambulance until they get the problem resolved.”

Selvidge said there is no timeline to get the problem resolved, and another model of ambulance — the type that resembles a box truck — are not well suited for the rural roads in Osage County.

“We don’t want the vehicle to roll over if we are on a call, so the box-type are not good for the service area we have,” he said.

story text created on Tuesday 8/29/2017 at 1:21:07 pm by Nathan Thompson

story text modified on Tuesday 8/29/2017 at 4:40:37 pm by Bryce Sealock

In other business

The Osage County Commissioners

• Approved payroll

• Approved and signed one utility permit

• Established blanket purchase orders

• Approved a rental rate for American Therapeutic Riding Center events at the Osage County Fairgrounds

• Signed a memorandum of understanding with the Osage Nation for an overlay project on Red Eagle Road

• Approved and signed a schedule of federal awards report for fiscal year 2016-2017

• Approved and signed a contact between the Department of Environmental Quality and the sheriff’s department

• Signed a lease agreement for a communications tower

• Heard a proposal on changing the lighting at the Osage County Fairgrounds to LEDs