ETMC offers new ambulance service deal to Alto, Wells

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - Alto may not lose ambulance service after all.

At a special city council meeting Monday night, the council and residents of Alto heard a new deal that is being offered by the East Texas Medical Center's EMS.

The group had previously told the cities of Alto, Wells and other Southern Cherokee County areas that they would be losing ambulance service starting July 16.

The new deal would subcontract service out to Blanket EMS.

The deal would bring an annual cost of $190,000. The majority of the cost would be picked up by ETMC, which is willing to pay $100,000.

Alto would be expected to pay around $19,000.

The rest of the $71,000 cost would be split between Wells and the unincorporated parts of the Southern half of Cherokee County. The cost for each would be based on a percentage of the population living in that part of the county.

The deal must be accepted by Alto, Wells and the Cherokee County Commissioners Court. If one of the three does not accept, then the deal is no good.

The main concern of residents and the council was not having an extension on the end of service date.

"We have to set a deadline, and it's not a pleasant thing to do. Otherwise, our decisions will be postponed. We need to make these decisions and keep the coverage and move forward," said Neal Franklin, General Manager of ETMC EMT.

The Alto City Council has set up another special meeting for July 9.

The city of Wells has a special meeting set for July 8.

A special meeting has not been announced for the Cherokee County Commissioners Court.

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