UNION, WV (WVNS) — As of 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, 2020, the ambulance fee for Monroe County was halted. According to county commissioners, those who have not paid the fee are being sent to collections.
The county commission owes more than $800,000 in ambulance fees. After a lengthy process, STAT EMS put in a bid to provide services to those in the county. Richard Miller, the Monroe County 911 Director, said STAT EMS will be providing care to people living in the county over the next 90 days.
“So out of the goodness of their heart, they have agreed to give us a 90 day trial run,” Miller said. “So they rented a house to make a station out of it, and they are responding from that residence in town and answering EMS calls as we need them to.”
During the county commission meeting on Wednesday, July 1, Miller said the county is not paying STAT to serve the county right now. Miller said one of the departments affected by the ambulance fee ending is the Peterstown Volunteer Fire Department.
Fire Chief Boomer Brown said after speaking with their board of directors, they will continue to serve the southern part of the county, for now.
“We have evaluated with what we got, we are going to continue service here for approximately six months with the board and the membership will re-evaluate in about five months to see what our status is based on our billing and based on our payroll to see how we can continue on the services,” Brown said.
Brown wants the people of Monroe County to know their station has been serving the community for more than 40 years, and their main priority is to keep everyone in the county safe.
“We’re going to go where we are needed to provide the proper care for the patient and the patient care is number one to us. That is what we are here for,” Brown said.
County Commission President Bill Miller said people living in Monroe County can expect to see an Ambulance Levy on the ballot in November.
It is not clear what what will happen with STAT EMS after the 90 days.