City of Waxahachie reverses decision for department-based EMS services

Photo courtesy City of Waxahachie.

WAXAHCHIE — In a special meeting on June 30, the Waxahachie City Council voted unanimously to rescind a previous vote that would have approved fire department-based emergency medical services (EMS) within the City. Following this decision, the City will seek a third-party private contract for ambulance service.

The previous vote, which took place at the June 1 City Council meeting, would have included the purchase of four ambulances and the addition of 24 new Firefighter/Paramedic positions. After looking into the requirements to base the EMS service within Waxahachie Fire-Rescue, it was discovered that it would not be feasible.

The City was looking at funding the EMS service through the addition of a fee that would be placed on the utility bills of each resident. In addition to the monthly fee, a separate fee would be charged if the person was transported to the hospital.

"Our concern is that adding the monthly fee to the water bill could possibly be challenged legally," said Paul Stevens, City Manager. "Right now, we need to look at other options, the best of which is to continue with a private contract for EMS service."

The City is currently reviewing bids from three private EMS companies, including CareFlite, American Medical Response (AMR), and Acadian. A recommendation for one of these companies is expected to be made at the July 20 City Council meeting. This contract between the City and its EMS provider will be for three years.