Ferris provides own EMS after CareFlite cancels contract
FERRIS – In January 2023, CareFlite notified the City of Ferris, along with several other entities, due to nationwide EMT/Paramedic staffing shortages, economic headwinds due to COVID-19, and a need to focus on their provider hospitals, CareFlite would be exercising their contractual right to terminate the relationship with the City of Ferris and several other entities.
Once notified of the termination, city leadership worked with the Ellis County Fire Marshal’s Office to ensure coverage of ambulance services for citizens in the City of Ferris would remain intact, while a request for proposal process was initiated for a long-term solution.
Contract negotiations for ambulance services to be provided by American Medical Response of Ellis County were underway when AMR notified Ellis County that they would be exercising their contractual right to terminate their agreement with Ellis County in April of 2024.
Ferris was again in limbo with coverage for ambulance services. The RFP process resulted in proposals from multiple providers ranging in cost from $700,000.00 to $1,400,000.00 annually.
Both proposals represented cost prohibitive challenges to providing the service.
At that time, city leadership began working on approvals for certification of a medical provider license, Texas Department of State Health Services, and the Drug Enforcement Agency to commission a City of Ferris EMS.
The Ferris Police Department and Ferris Fire Department have merged to form the Ferris Department of Public Safety, where all personnel are triple-certified as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians, providing a greater availability of assistance to Ferris citizens.
Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams said, “Beginning Oct. 1, 2023, the Ferris Department of Public Safety will respond to all 911 calls requiring emergency medical services or ambulance services.
“We will also continue to utilize all mutual-aid agreements in place to ensure the necessary resources are in place for any overlapping calls.
“Ferris has built a unique EMS program that is partnered with MD Health Pathways to connect patients (should they choose) that have been treated and/or transported by EMS with on-going medical care - to reduce repeat calls, medical emergencies, and improve overall community health. Williams further stated, “Billing for ambulance services is being approached with citizens in mind.”
Ferris will bill insurance companies, Medicaid, or Medicare for services rendered.
Citizens who have one of the previously mentioned coverages will not receive a bill for ambulance services.