County Commissioner presents plan to GR City Council in order to keep ambulance services

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Tyler Johnson, [email protected]

GREN RIVER, WYOMING (March 2, 2021) – On March 31, Sweetwater County Commissioners will have officially terminated ambulance services contract with Sweetwater Medics and Castle Rock Medical Center.

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During a workshop before Tuesday’s Green River City Council meeting, County Commissioner Jeff Smith presented a plan for Green River and Rock Springs to split the cost 50-50.

Sweetwater County would pay 50% of the cost and the two major cities in the county would split the remaining 50%. Rock Springs would take two-thirds of the cost, while Green River takes the other one-third.

From 2017 through 2020, Sweetwater Medics saw a subsidy increase of 58%. Castle Rock saw a similar increase over the same period of 54%.

Smith said that Sweetwater Medics have already stated that they will not be taking any 9-1-1 calls beginning April 1. However, Castle Rock Medical Center can provide its services for another nine months with the financing they have while a solution is being sought.

“This is a difficult time, as we all know, with budgets,” Smith said, eluding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the downfall of the economy.

Green River and Rock Springs are requested to fund the remaining timeframe, which would last three months from April 1 through June. Smith said this is time sensitive as the current contract is terminated at the end of March.

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However, Smith said that if there is an agreement between the two cities, the county will cover the cost between April 1 and June 30.

Green River City Councilman of Ward III Gary Killpack asked Smith, “What if we choose not to agree? What happens?”

Smith replied that the decision will then be up to the Rock Springs City Council on if they would like to pay the entire 50%, pointing out that the existing contract for ambulance services is terminated on March 31 whether there’s an agreement or not.

“Whoever would like to pay the other 50% matters not to us,” Smith said. “We have terminated our contract. We will be out March 31 if there’s not an agreement to have financial support from elsewhere.”

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Killpack asked, “What will happen to the 9-1-1 calls?”

Smith said the calls will not be answered.

“So, people will just get sick and die?” Killpack asked.

“Um, apparently, yeah,” Smith answered.

“That’s not a very good solution,” Killpack said

“That’s why we brought this one to you. This one sounds a little better,” Smith responded.

The Green River City Council did not decide on the issue on Tuesday. Mayor Pete Rust said the city’s committee will need to convene and get with the county’s committee moving forward.

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