EMSA will now have an ambulance stationed in Bixby 24/7, but it's going to cost residents a little extra.
It's not going to take a huge tug at your wallet, but it will cost residents a couple more dollars. Bixby city leaders say they're just trying to provide the best quality services for the lowest possible cost.
First responders are crucial when it comes to emergency situations. In the past, the City of Bixby had to rely on EMSA to come from south Tulsa, making the response time a little longer than most would like.
"If that truck was busy on a call, the odds were if there was a call in Bixby, that truck might have to wait longer, so now we've kind of taken that out of the equation by putting a truck there posted 24 hours a day," said EMSA Public Information Officer, Chris Stevens.
Bixby is one of the fasted growing cities in the state. And that is what prompted city leaders to strike a new deal with EMSA that will position one ambulance in the town at all times.
"With a paramedic getting on scene a lot quicker, obviously the outcome of every patient life threatening emergencies are probably going to be treated better," Stevens said.
With this change come more fees on residents' monthly water bills. Previously there was a $1.80 fee on the bill for ambulance services. If you live within city limits, that cost will now be $3.50. If you live outside the city it'll cost $4.
City Manager Doug Enevoldsen says the council looked into letting people opt out of these services, but decided this was ultimately the best choice. He also says these costs will insure that no one will have to pay out of pocket if they use ambulance services.
A small portion of these new fees will go toward the "first responder services" pool, which will help the fire department.
"This rate increase is going to be good in my opinion for the city of Bixby all the way around, by improvements that are going to be done within the fire department and within the community," Stevens said.
The ambulance is already in service in Bixby. It's usually positioned in the downtown area.