New Edinburg ambulance requirements cause outrage

EMS employees from various ambulance companies show support for their line of work at a meeting in Edinburg.

The city of Edinburg has a medical crisis on its hands.

Edinburg has a contracted 911 EMS provider, but any other private company wanting to provide backup service must now meet two new requirements.

First, each company must open a substation in the city.

Secondly, a paramedic must now be on board the ambulance, not just a basic or intermediate EMT.

Several EMS company owners and employees are upset about the new restrictions.

Thursday, they crowded a hotel conference room to possibly take legal action against the city of Edinburg over the new requirements.

"If it's just exclusively like this, then what's going to happen is patient care, whether emergency or non-emergency, is going to go down," explained EJ Handley with Archangel EMS. "Response times are going to go up, because they're only so many paramedics."

Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider disagreed.

"We're aware of the paramedic shortage," he said. "The permit requirement is only calling for the ambulance to do business in the city. It's not calling for your entire fleet ambulances to be certified paramedic level. It's only the one that you're bringing to Edinburg to do the transport within the city," Snider commented.

A five member ambulance task force made the recommendation for the new ordinance.