CLAUDE, TX (KFDA) - The city of Claude has suspended its Emergency Management Services (EMS).
Mayor Bill Wood made the decision to suspend the city's EMS to ensure every 911 medical call is responded to.
"I made that decision because by the time the sheriff's office calls us, and we realize we're unable to get people there, we've lost time, valuable time," said Wood.
Since the suspension, all medical emergencies are handled by Amarillo Medical Services or Pantex. This means emergency response times increased from eight minutes to as much as 45 minutes.
The problem isn't a lack of funding, the issue is that there are only five people with the proper medical qualifications.
"We need to fill out a full calendar for a full month," said Wood. "When the call is made out to the sheriff's office we want that to be paged out to us, and we want to make sure our people are going to show up."
Claude was previously on a volunteer EMS system. They are considering paying people to provide care or using a limited ambulance service.
By the end of next week, the city plans to have a ride service available to get people to the professional emergency medical technicians as quickly as possible.