Guardian EMS bails on transfers

A formal announcement was made Tuesday by Guardian Emergency Medical Services notifying the Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital that effective May 2, they would no longer provide transfer service from the local hospital. The decision comes nearly seven months after the Brady EMS ceased providing transfers to out-of- town hospitals. The decision to end the transfer service at that time was made by Brady City Manager Merle Taylor and EMS Director Gloria Slone due to critical staffing levels. Faced with an immediate need to provide transfer services for patients at the hospital, Tim Jones, administrator of the Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital, entered into an agreement with Guardian to provide the services. That agreement had provisions for 30-day notice of service termination. Since the changes made in September to provide transfer services, on behalf of the board of directors of the local hospital, Jones has been working with city and county officials discussing viable long-term solutions. “As it stands now, options the board have discussed are based upon a variety of ideas,’ said Jones. Basically, we have three initial options to consider’ we can purchase an ambulance and staff that vehicle to be used solely for transfers, we could possibly lease a truck from the city, or, another possible option, would be to partner with the city with some type of management contract in which we would provide billing and staffing for the city.” The hospital board has not voted on any one particular plan of action, but according to Jones, they are committed toward exploring all options that will ultimately be in the best long-term interest of the citizens of McCulloch County. “We are faced with two issues right now and those are making arrangements to provide transfers effective May 2 and also what the best plan of action will be for the long term,” said Jones. “Much of both of those decisions will be affected by the City of Brady and how we can work together with them to explore all of our options.’ Jones addressed the Brady City Council during the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting. With the urgency of the matter, he informed the council of the information as it stands in an attempt to keep both the public and all of the parties involved informed. The item was not posted on the council’s agenda, so it was not able to be formally discussed. Jones stated that he would be working closely with the city to come up with the best viable solutions as quickly as possible.

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