The wait is still on for Elmore City's ambulance district as it seeks some help to pay the bills.
No action came earlier this week after Jason Cook, director the Elmore City EMS service, put in a formal request for some help from Garvin County officials.
Cook told all three county commissioners some funding relief is needed to avoid any cuts in the ambulance service over the next few months.
“This could be devastating to our service,” Cook said during a weekly commissioners' meeting in Pauls Valley.
“I am requesting $60,000 or even a percentage of it to help us through the rest of the fiscal year. This would allow us to have the supplies and wages we need for the remainder of the fiscal year.”
The Elmore district, which covers ambulance services for a big chunk of central and southwest Garvin County, even has runs stretching down into parts of three neighboring counties.
The services over a “pretty good area” are funded primarily by a 2-cent sales tax inside of the Elmore City and transport billing for ambulance runs made.
According to Cook, the big problem is revenue for the EMS service dropped by nearly $20,000 from last year's numbers with that deficit adding up more than $70,000 since 2018.
Adding to the shortfall has been the more recent impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, which first started to close and then limit local businesses back in March.
“The city sales tax has been steadily decreasing since 2018 and even lower with COVID-19,” Cook said.
“With the pandemic hitting our area it has made it hard to financially keep up with calls of service within our run area and to provide the level of care that Elmore EMS provides and the communities deserve.
“We've worked hard to get the ambulance service up to the level where it's at,” he said, adding having at least one paramedic on duty on almost every shift.
“Without some help I'll have to look at making some cuts. I would cut the director's wages first. I would have to look at cutting wages. That could have a definite impact on the services we provide.”
In all the Elmore EMS service has 12 positions as Cook says he fears a decrease in wages could result in some leaving for other jobs.
The drop in sales tax revenue has also resulted in plans for the construction of a new fire station in Elmore City being put on hold for now.