City Ambulance working to establish service and connection with Port Arthur residents

Published 12:30 am Friday, December 8, 2023

City Ambulance ran as the sole emergency transport service in Port Arthur for less than a month and officials with the company say they have maintained available units at all times.

Acadian resumed services in Port Arthur, this week, providing residents the expertise of multiple agencies.

As a new service provider in the city, City Ambulance leaders have worked closely with police, fire and city officials.

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City Ambulance is continuing to service the city and so far is doing well, according to Port Arthur Fire Chief Greg Benson.

Andre Ruby, vice president of operations, said City Ambulance has been in communication with the mayor and city council as well as police and fire.

City Ambulance has units near the former Mid Jefferson Extended Care Hospital. (Mary Meaux/The News)

He added one thing they have done is quickly identify the areas of the city that may need more of a presence of EMS.

Ruby said Fire Chief Greg Benson has been part of the plan to shape the EMS system to service the city, what it has to look for in the future and plans to continue that level of service.

City Ambulance runs a minimum of eight ambulances dedicated only to Port Arthur, Ruby said.

“While those units are still dedicated to the city of Port Arthur, we’ve strategically placed them in every fire district,” Ruby said. “So every fire district, given they are not on a call, has an ambulance assigned to that district to service all parts of Port Arthur, not just the north part, not just the south part, not just the west part but all parts of Port Arthur.”

Ruby called it a huge transition from the previous way coverage was planned for the whole county.

“Now it’s strategic placements to cover the whole city. That’s a huge difference. That’s a huge transition and that increases your level of service,” he said.

The ambulance service also handles Inter-Facility Transport, or IFT, which is the transport of patients between healthcare facilities. For this, he said, they increased staffing and brought in IFT trucks.

Maneuvering in traffic where there are multiple Texas Department of Transportation projects and road closures is something City Ambulance and Benson are working on together.

Benson has included City Ambulance on TxDOT emails on road closures prior to the events.

“Understanding that the construction on Memorial creates a chute with no emergency vehicle access, there needs to be a continuation of collaboration with TxDOT, with the fire department, with the police department on how to navigate those the best and the incidents,” Ruby said.

As for coverage in Sabine Pass, Ruby said they are being proactive instead of reactive. They have met with some of the LNG plants and talked with how to deliver EMS care.

Port Arthur LNG has onsite paramedics, nurses and nurse practitioners, he said

Ambulance services for the city are required to report response times. For example, the stats for November must be submitted by Dec. 15.

“Andre is very focused on collaboration and providing services,” Benson said.

The company is not required to provide leaders with locations of all of its units but has opted to do so. All of City Ambulance units have a GPS system, which is beneficial when a unit is needed.

Benson said this is something the fire department is doing with its own engines to provide better response times for all incidents.

A City Ambulance unit recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness features signatures of survivors and those who lost a loved one to the disease. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Giving back

Besides services for the city, City Ambulance is looking to become members of the local Rotary Club as a corporate sponsor.

Ruby said this is a way to partner with the community.

He called Rotary a great organization working to move forward the advancement of the community and its initiatives with the community.

“It’s about being a partner,” Ruby said. “Anyone can put an ambulance service in Port Arthur, but it takes someone with compassion, heart and love for the community and for those that they serve to really partner and integrate in the community.”

City Ambulance will be involved with a number of upcoming events in the city, he added.

The company has a special unit in recognition of breast cancer awareness.

Ruby said he approached the company’s CEO with the idea of having one of their trucks with a pink ribbon to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is in October.

Ruby said the company’s fleet manager is a three-time survivor of breast cancer and his mother is a breast cancer survivor and now the eye-catching unit has signatures of breast cancer survivors who have done the fight and some who have lost individuals to breast cancer.

“You’ll see some sayings, their year of remission, their year of diagnosis,” he said. “That truck is more than an apparatus. It’s a purpose and we’ve taken it all over the State of Texas. And I’ll tell you, that truck means more to me than any ambulance.”

Ruby said there are not enough signatures from Port Arthur and hopes to see some added.