Trinity Co. commissioners vote to approve EMS service agreement - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Trinity Co. commissioners vote to approve EMS service agreement

TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Trinity County's commissioner's court voted 3-2 to accept a proposal for EMS service by Ventura EMS Friday morning.

Ventura EMS is based in Huntsville. As part of the agreement, Ventura EMS will cover the southern part of Trinity County.

The vote came about in a special called session that heard proposals for a new company.

Earlier this month, the Trinity County commissioners voted down a proposed plan to transfer services from East Texas Medical Center EMS to Georgetown-based Allegiance EMS.

Page said that vote came after a previous proposal by Allegiance to provide services over a five year period for $65,000.

Both Ventura and Allegiance offered five year proposals to the county, with no cost to the county.

"The way they will make money is off of the customers they dispatch to," Page said. "They will not get money from the county."

Commissioner Neal Smith was the first to speak in favor of Ventura EMS. Smith said he did not agree with the way the court had done negotiations with Allegiance before the last several days.

"They wanted to charge, and then they cut deals and cut deals and cut deals," Smith said. "It's just too much sugar on the cake for me."

County Judge Doug Page said the vote was three against and two for the proposal. In both meetings, Page was for Allegiance.

"This company was the only one of the two to show financial sustainability and in my opinion is the better of the two," Page told the court in his comments before Friday's vote.

After the meeting, Page said he did not hold a grudge with the way the vote ended up.

"I don't fault the democratic process at all," Page said. "It worked like it should. I just don't feel like the chips fell where they should, but that's me."

In December, Trinity County officials received word that ETMC EMS will no longer be operating in the southern part of the county, effective March 14, 2015.

Page said ETMC EMS handles the EMS duties for the southern part of Trinity County, and Groveton EMS provides ambulance service to the northern part of the county.

On Dec. 11, ETMC officials met with Houston County officials to announce that they were discontinuing their ambulance service in that county. As with Trinity County, it will be effective on March 14, 2015.

Judge Erin Ford told KTRE Friday afternoon, that a third-party consultant had been looking at the situation and would be meeting with a Houston County committee on Feb. 16. The committee would then present their findings to the Houston County Hospital Board during a public meeting Tuesday night.

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