Patients and workers are not the only ones suffering from the loss of the Pauls Valley Medical Center.
The police department is now trying to coordinate EMS services for the entire community.
The hospital closed its doors Friday, October 12, following a city council meeting.
“Not only did we lose our ambulance service, we lost our ER at the same time,” said Pauls Valley Police Chief Mitch McGill. “It's a big, big impact. A big impact on the city. I believe that's why the authority has done everything it can do at this point to try and keep it open. It's just come to a point that they cannot feasibly do that.”
This comes after a GoFundMe was launched to benefit the hospital just a few weeks back.
When the facility shut its door, nearly 130 people lost their jobs.
Another private ambulance service based in Purcell has stepped-in to cover the area for the time being.
Chief McGill said that so far, Wadley’s EMS has not charged the city for their services.
However, that service is on a day-to-day basis.
Pauls Valley reported getting about 175 calls a month to their dispatch.
If there is a car wreck, stabbing, or even an officer-involved shooting the fate of that person is up in the air. The next nearest hospital is about 30 minutes away.
“We are going to have to transport that officer, hopefully it's clear enough. This weekend it wasn't, to Medi-flight them out,” Chief McGill said.
If there is a suspect involved, who needs medical attention, or requires a blood-alcohol draw, the issue becomes more complex.
“Say we need to get somebody fit for incarceration, we are going to arrest somebody out of a car, or they ran from the police and got hurt. We would have to take them and get them evaluated. We would probably do that in Purcell,” Chief McGill said.
He said in those cases, police would face time constraints.
McGill adds the city would also be forced to cover the cost of transporting patients.
There are at least three ambulance services interested in servicing the town, according to the police chief.
However, McGill is still hopeful for a better solution.
“The best thing that could happen is somebody come in and buy it and get it back open. That's what I can hope and pray for,” Chief McGill said.
People are still able to call 911 for help.
The city will hopefully select a new ambulance service at their next council meeting.