Hartshorne city hall

Hartshorne city hall

HARTSHORNE — City councilors approved an ambulance service contract with Pafford EMS.

Hartshorne’s ambulance service contract with Pafford was set to expire Nov. 9 after councilors previously voted for an extension and open the contract for bids. City councilors voted during Monday's regular meeting to contract again with Pafford for ambulance service.

Two bids were unsealed during the meeting — one from Pafford and the other from Weleetka Graham EMS LLC. Pafford’s bid was an annual cost of $144,000, to be paid in $12,000 monthly installments. Weleetka Graham EMS entered a bid of $141,600 per year, to be paid in $11,800 monthly installments.

"I think it's that they're already established," Hartshorne Mayor Ashley Faulkner said. "I mean bringing in a new company that they only serve on-site care right now...and we've been through a huge change over.

"I think we need to give them a chance to continue growing here," she added.

Councilors voting to approve a contract with Pafford were Eddie Kelley, Sheryl Baker, Paul Marean, Gary Jackson, Lauren Miller, and Jessica Hackler. Councilor Destiny Voegele passed on the vote.

A Weleetka Graham representative told councilors that the company has 18 employees and only performs on-site care — but would work to gain licensing for medical transports within six weeks.

Clay Hobbs, chief operating officer for Pafford EMS, told councilors in October that the contract would be the same councilors agreed to last year. The contract calls for the city to pay Pafford $144,000 for one year — paid in monthly installments of $12,000 — in an exclusive ambulance service contract.

Oklahoma statutes allow EMS Regions, ambulance service districts and municipalities to regulate and control ambulance service transports originating within their districts.

A sole-provider system for “stretcher van and/or Ambulance Service transports,” but “which is not an EMS Region, Ambulance Service district, municipality, or other public entity shall be selected by competitive bidding,” according to state statutes.

“A contract entered into pursuant to such bidding shall be with the lowest and best bidder and may be for an initial term of such duration as deemed operationally and fiscally prudent by the contracting agency,” the statute states. “The term of such sole-provider contract shall be made public at the time bids are solicited, which solicitation shall be not less than sixty (60) days prior to the contract start date.”

Hartshorne’s contract with Pafford states the service will staff an ambulance provided by the city. Pafford officials said the company paid for maintenance on the ambulance and said it needs a new chassis, which would cost the city around $80,000.

Pafford responded to 508 ambulance requests in the Hartshorne district last year, including 315 transports to McAlester Regional Health Center or to a helicopter landing zone, according to the company. Officials said 38% of the responses did not result in hospital transport and resulted in no revenue Pafford.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com

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