TULIA, Texas (KFDA) - The ambulance trucks, EMT’s and paramedics in Swisher County all have a new look this month after Tule Creek EMS officially entered into a contract with American Medical Response.
“We will run all of their non 911 and inter-facility transfer,” said Amarillo Medical Services Chief Will Hendon. “So essentially they’ll surrender the previous license that they had under Tule Creek EMS, it will be surrendered to the state, and they will now partner with American Medical Response DBA Amarillo Medical Services to run that contract.”
All emergency responders who wanted to transfer from Tule Creek EMS were able to do so.
“We fully transitioned all of their employees that wanted to come over and go to work for American Medical Response,” said Hendon. “Each and every one of those employees have transitioned are now employees of AMR and Amarillo Medical Services.”
AMR provided the hospital-based EMS with one, fully-equipped Mobile Intensive Care Unit and one reserve unit.
“We have one fully-deployed ambulance at all times with a crew manning that particular ambulance for 911 response,” said Hendon. “Should that initial crew get sent on a call, then we have another unit in reserve that’s available to take another 911 call should it come in.”
Swisher County Memorial Health System decided to partner with AMR due to the financial struggle of maintaining Tule Creek EMS.
“Partnering with AMR, we have two new trucks, the equipment is new,” said CEO of the Swisher County Memorial Health System Luke Brewer. “We feel like with upgraded equipment, faster response time, that the community will be better served.”
Other emergency medical services bought out by AMR in recent years include ones in Borger, Fritch and Dalhart.
“Typically they’re a little bit isolated,” said Hendon. “Those guys don’t have the strength of a nationwide EMS like American Medical Response.”
Hendon said this new partnership will allow the Swisher County Memorial Health System to better focus on hospital care while AMR takes care of all ambulance services for the county.
“This is in no way a change of the level of service provided,” he said. “It’s simply a change in the name on the side of the ambulance.”