Ind. county ends contract with Phoenix Paramedic Solutions, will re-establish own EMS
Cass County commissioners voted to establish county EMS, appoint a seven-member Cass County Board and look for a full-time EMS director
James D. Wolf Jr.
Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Ind.
CASS COUNTY, Ind. — Cass County has until mid-December to establish a replacement ambulance and emergency medical services (EMS).
Cass County Commissioners President Ryan Browning, R- District 3, announced Monday that the county's agreement with Phoenix Paramedic Solutions is ending, and Cass has 90 days to get its own service.
"Phoenix Paramedics has decided to get out of the contract," Browning said after the meeting. "They're changing their business platform."
The county is willing to end the contract, too. Browning said during the meeting that the service Phoenix has been providing has not been up to county standards.
The commissioners voted at their Monday meeting to pass an ordinance to establish county EMS, to appoint a seven-member Cass County Board and to look for a full-time EMS director.
Phoenix CEO Nate Metz said that the company is changing its business model in response to changes in the industry. The company believes the best way to have sustainable EMS is through a municipality, such as the county or a city.
"There's a great deal more funding to municipal services than there is to private," Metz said. "A lot of these moves are us trying to be proactive."
Phoenix may still remain working with Logansport Memorial Hospital in a not-for-profit, non-911 capacity.
"It should be good things for the community," Metz said.
Cass had its own EMS service before, starting in the 1970s, according to commissioners' attorney Jeffrey Stanton. County officials said the service had been gone since at least the 1990s.
Browning said the first service the county had years ago went bankrupt, and Phoenix — the second service — has been bought out.
The Cass County EMS board's first meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The board members the commissioner voted for were Brent Ahrens, Rick Bair, Dave Morris ( Logansport City Council president but acting as a private citizen, said Browning), Mike Dietrich and Cass County Sheriff Ed Schroder.
Browning will act as commissioner representative, and Brian Reed, District 4, will act as the Cass County Council's representative.
The EMS board members are each slated to serve one year until the group develops bylaws, and they have background in EMS, Browning said.
He estimated that the service will require at least 19 full-time employees.
Two of those employees will be advanced life support, and one will be basic life support.
"We will once again have Cass County EMS," Browning said. "It should be a good thing for the county."
Also at the meeting, the commissioners set Feb. 3 as the Tax Certificate Sale. They also set the minimum bid at $40, and the auction will be live instead of online this year.
(c)2021 the Pharos-Tribune (Logansport, Ind.)