No new ambulance service for Rogers County

Wednesday, November 9th 2005, 1:41 pm
By: News On 6

A privately-run Rogers County ambulance service has been in dire straits in recent months, but voters sounded rejected a half-cent sales tax increase that would have created a new county ambulance service.

Still, News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says it might not be as bad as it sounds.

Just a few months ago, it looked like the local ambulance service in Claremore might be silenced for good, but now. "We're doing fine, we're doing fine." Peggy Baker is the general manager for Pafford Ambulance, which bought out the previous owners, Med-Tech, just a few months ago.

Baker told the News on 6 then that Med-Tech was close to going under completely, but with the resources of the new, bigger company they've actually added an ambulance. "We now run three out of Claremore. Previously we were running two and so now we've got three 24-hours units in Claremore, one in Chelsea and one in Catoosa, so a total of 5."

The county would reportedly rather have something in the neighborhood of 7 ambulances, but Baker feels like they're getting the job done. "I think coverage has improved quite a bit, and I feel comfortable with 3 trucks here."

From Pafford's perspective, it might be just as well that the county tax didn't pass. "We didn't know if they were going to build a service from the ground up. We didn't know if they would contract with us or if they would hire another company to come in and contract with them."

With fast-increasing health-care costs and a fast-growing county, it's a challenge, but she says the service is stable. "Well, we're still here, so."