Port Arthur officially terminates ties with Acadian Ambulance; mayor shares what he wants next

Published 12:30 am Thursday, February 15, 2024

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In one fell swoop, Port Arthur city leaders formalized the termination of the non-exclusive ambulance agreement with Acadian Ambulance.

The action comes less than two weeks after Acadian notified the city of their intent to cease 911 operations in Port Arthur, citing a number of reasons, mainly that a multi-provider system was not viable for the company.

Acadian will cease services March 2, thus leaving City Ambulance as the sole provider for the services.

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The unanimous vote for termination of the agreement came during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Mayor Thurman Bartie said on Wednesday he is in favor of the city having more than one ambulance service, adding some councilmembers may not share the same opinion.

The city’s next council meeting will be held Feb. 27, and there is a possibility leaders will revisit the idea of seeking Requests For Proposals for a second, or more emergency medical transport services.

Bartie said competition makes businesses perform better.

“I’m not saying City Ambulance can’t handle it,” Bartie said. “This is my personal opinion. We experienced having a single provider and you saw what a single provider got us to the stage where we are now. We could have two, three providers.”

Acadian operated in the city for 17 years and was the sole 911 provider for the past 13 years, but last year city leaders opted to bring in a second ambulance service.

This came after the fire department’s medical group met and made recommendations for improving emergency services.

In June, Acadian and City Ambulance Service made proposals to the City Council, and then a Nov. 10 deadline came and went without Acadian signing a new contract; their representatives saying they needed clarification on some items.

The current contract was signed Dec. 4 and was valid through Nov. 30, 2024 – until Acadian notified the city of their intent to cease 911 operations in Port Arthur earlier this month.