See how Port Arthur leaders addressed the call for quicker ambulance response times

Published 5:54 pm Monday, October 16, 2023

The City of Port Arthur will soon have more than one ambulance service available.

On Monday, city leaders approved a contract for the operation of ambulances in the city with Acadian Ambulance and Viking Enterprises doing business as a City Ambulance Service.

The effective date of the contract is Nov. 1 and is contingent on each company meeting requirements of the city, according to City Attorney Valecia Tizeno.

City Ambulance Service Senior Vice-President of Business Development Richard Trevino, left; CEO Moe Massoud; Vice-President of Operations Andre Ruby; East Texas Regional Director Shaun Heflin; and Paramedic Field Supervisor Josh Hernandez stop for a photo in Port Arthur City Council Chambers after council approved a one-year-contract with them as ambulance providers. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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City Ambulance services Vice-President of Operations Andre Ruby summed up what today’s council action meant for the company.

“It’s a new growth and new area to service and provide high quality, compassionate health services for everyone in the Port Arthur area. We have to bring in a new vision and new competition that will enhance the level of service every day for every patient,” Ruby said.

City Ambulance Service covers approximately 90 percent of the State of Texas and has multiple 9-1-1 contracts.

The goal, Ruby said, is to be up and ready to go for the next two weeks.

Port Arthur has used one ambulance service for a number of years. Ruby said with two services, calls would be based off GPS location of ambulances, so as to get the most appropriate closest unit to the scene in the most appropriate timeframe.

Mayor Thurman Bartie said prior to the discussion of bringing on more than one ambulance service, he heard complaints from citizens about response times. He feels having more than one service leads to competition between the two companies that would mean better response times.

Bartie said the issue of ambulance services came to light from Port Arthur Fire Chief Greg Benson, who spoke of recently passed House Bill 624, which took effect Sept. 1, allowing fire departments to transport a patient to the hospital under particular criteria.

The city in April opened applications to services seeking a permit to operate within the city limits. In June, City Council heard presentations from Acadian Ambulance Service as well as City Ambulance Service.