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County looks for new ambulance service

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The Trinity County Commissioners Court proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Day in the county. PHOTO BY TONY FARKASThe Trinity County Commissioners Court proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Day in the county. PHOTO BY TONY FARKAS

By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court entertained proposals from three area ambulance services as a replacement for Groveton EMS.

At its last meeting, the court voted to terminate its contract with the local service for several reasons, which now will end in 90 days. However, commissioners still want area residents to have some coverage in case of emergencies.

The county paid $1,500 a month on the Groveton EMS contract.

•Justin Cude of Allegiance Ambulance, which covers numerous counties in the area and provides 911 service for Polk, San Jacinto and Tyler counties, offered three options, only one of which would have a dedicated ambulance in Groveton.

The other options, while providing ambulances and two certified members, would pull the Groveton ambulance to other areas if it was necessary.

The cost varied from $3,000 per month for basic lifesaving service to $40,000 per month for a fully dedicated mobile intensive care unit.

•City Ambulance, based out of Lufkin, also providing coverage in numerous counties across the state, offered two options for dedicated ambulances.

Representative Andre Ruby said he felt that any option that provided non-dedicated coverage was something he could not offer in good conscience.

Options for coverage varied from $15,834 per month for one ambulance to a two-ambulance option at $20,834 per month.

Ruby told the court that there may be grant funds available through Homeland Security or the USDA for public safety needs.

•Keith Shelley of Ventura Ambulance, which is contracted for service to the city of Trinity, also said that a non-dedicated ambulance is not a viable option.

For a dedicated MICU ambulance, Ventura’s proposal was $30,000 per month, and for a BLS ambulance, the cost would be $22,000 per month.

Commissioner Neal Smith said it would be best if the county could have service for what is paid from insurance and Medicare; however, no decision was made.

In other business, the court:

•approved extending Texas transportation code and laws throughout the Trinity Cove Subdivision, after a public hearing where residents complained about traffic laws being ignored;

•approved renewal of official bonds;

•proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Day in Trinity County;

•approved an amendment to an agreement with Burke, which provides mental health services to the area, that removes Jasper County from the agreement;

•approved renewal of Texas Association of Counties health benefits, which has a 5 percent increase in premiums but a decrease in vision and dental premiums;

•approved an application for a Bureau of Justice grant to replace the 911 radio system;

•approved the purchase of a John Deere mower for Precinct 4;

•approved an agreement between Commissioner Tommy Park and James Self to access private property on Sweetgum Trail to address drainage issues;

•tabled paying a $45,000 invoice to DRG Architects for work on jail design until a meeting can be arranged; and

•approved a lease of property on Ringo Road to the Sheriff’s Posse.


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