By Conrad Dudderar
City leaders have renewed their contract with Yukon’s ambulance provider, with a $2 monthly increase for utility customers.
The Yukon City Council, at its Aug. 15th meeting, approved an updated ambulance service agreement with Pafford Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of Oklahoma. The current contract is due to expire Aug. 29.
The City of Yukon will pay Pafford a $156,000 annual subsidy in monthly installments of $13,000, according to the new agreement.
The City of Yukon will enroll its utility customers in “Carenet” to help offset the cost of ambulance services; the monthly surcharge will be $5.65 for each customer that does not timely opt out.
“Pafford shall be the sole provider of emergency and non-emergency ambulance transportation in the City of Yukon,” according to the new agreement.
“Pafford will provide and maintain a minimum of two fully equipped and licenses ambulances … staffed at the Advanced Life Support level and the Basic Life Support level, which may be utilized in circumstances such (as) non-emergency transfers, mutual aid, etc. Pafford will provide adequate staffing for these ambulances.”
In a related item, council members OK’d an annual lease of property at 102 S Ranchwood to Pafford. Rent is $2,200 per month.
The City of Yukon has agreed to abate rent by $16,950 – the cost to repair or replace the roof.
Pafford EMS now operates two ambulances 24/7 and a dedicated staff based at the former Yukon Fire Station #2 on S Ranchwood.
The company has invested $111,000 to make renovations to the building, according to Pafford Chief Operating Officer Clay Hobbs.
Pafford EMS (previously Samaritan) has operated the City of Yukon’s ambulance service for seven years.
Pafford is working with many of its communities to increase subsidies that would offset these increased costs.
CALL INCREASE, HIGHER COSTS
Yukon City Council approval of the new contract came six weeks after Pafford officials requested raising the ambulance subscription surcharge from $3.65 to $5.65 for Yukon residents who “opt in” on their monthly utility bills.
Pafford witnessed a 60% call increase in Yukon from the second quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of ’23, Hobbs told council members July 6.
Pafford’s average ambulance response times have been 7:20 over the past two years and about 6:30 during the last few months, Hobbs pointed out.
To maintain low response times, Pafford asked to change language in its Yukon ambulance contract to increase “unit hours” from 48 to 60 per day.
This will allow Pafford to have a third ambulance in Yukon for 12 hours each day during peak call volume – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
COO Hobbs described these increases to Pafford’s operational expenditures since 2018:
- 35% for labor
- 45% for non-durable medical goods
- 30% for durable medical goods
- 46% for ambulances
These are costs that the “entire industry” is experiencing, Hobbs noted.
Pafford EMS has provided pre-hospital healthcare since 1967, now operating in four states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Pafford’s fleet features 280 advanced life support (ALS)-equipped ground ambulances, five helicopters and three aeromedical fixed wing aircraft.
The company has more than 1,800 team members, most of whom deliver patient care on the front lines.
THIS AND THAT …
Among other business at its Aug. 15th meeting, the Yukon City Council approved:
- Paying $55,834.96 to Brewer Construction Oklahoma for the repair of a storm drain at Holly Avenue and the Montreal Street inlet/gary grate adjustment. The cost will be paid with Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
- Appointment of Jessica Limestall-Kerr to represent Ward 3 on the Yukon Park Board.
- Re-appointment of Velta Johnson to Office 6 on the Spanish Cove Housing Authority Board.