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Pflugerville starts negotiations with private ambulance service

There is pushback from the community.

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — Pflugerville officials are starting negotiations with a private ambulance service despite public pushback.

The city is reportedly considering working with Acadian Ambulance Services. The approval came ahead of an upcoming election that could annex Pflugerville into Travis County Emergency Services District No. 17. Voters will take up the issue on Nov. 2.

However, during an Oct. 12 meeting, the city council approved a motion to begin negotiations with the ambulance services company, according to Community Impact.

Critics said the private ambulances could overcharge residents, taking advantage of those in need of emergency care. Those in support of seeking alternate ambulance services or finding a better compromise with the ESD said there is an incorrect accounting of funds and a need to find an equitable solution.

Read the full report from Community Impact.

Mike Bessner, Board President, ESD No. 2 released the following statement on Wednesday, Oct. 13:

“Last night, the Pflugerville City Council took some very disheartening steps to fundamentally change how Pflugerville residents will receive emergency services should they need them. These decisions continue to be based on a misleading report from AP Triton that is riddled with inaccuracies. First, City Council adopted their EMS franchise ordinance, which as currently written, would make first response by ESD No. 2 illegal. It's a perplexing action when the city’s own annual study shows EMS/fire services, which are currently provided by ESD No. 2, are the highest-rated service in the city, and AP Triton has also concluded that ‘TCESD2 is currently meeting or exceeding recommended performance metrics for total response time…providing an excellent response to the constituents in TCESD2.’ Then, the Council again relied heavily on the AP Triton report, which is grossly misleading on the current financial situation and expectations for the next 10 years. The City's promise of no increased taxes and that they won't pay a contract fee because the money isn't needed assumes that we would place the cost on the individual patient through high EMS bills and that there will be no new fire fighters, or paramedics, or stations needed for the next 10 years. As a resident of Pflugerville, I see the steady, rapid growth in this area, and to make decisions that ignore the city's growth is careless and a disservice to my fellow neighbors. The Council has to understand that response times will suffer based on information/history from other areas. This will also cause problems for ESD 2 as the first responder on the scene that will potentially hurt our future response as we wait for them to show up. I have sent four correspondence to the Council with information and questions about needing to meet, I have received no responses to those letters to date. It is clear that a play for power has clouded the truth of what will best serve Pflugerville residents."

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