Government

County, S.T.A.R. agree upon contract extension

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The area’s only private ambulance service will continue responding to emergency calls through May 1 by way of an extended service agreement between S.T.A.R. Ambulance and Montgomery County.

A third-party study to evaluate the current emergency medical situation also will be performed, as requested by the county. Results are anticipated by mid-April when the entities will determine their next steps.

The move comes on the heels of fresh talks between the private enterprise and the county, which have operated under the same contract since 1990. Per the contract, either party can submit a letter of intent 60 days before pulling out of the agreement.

Letters were recently issued by S.T.A.R. Ambulance owner Matt Peck indicating the company would cease emergency runs beginning March 1, prompting the renegotiation process. Peck said he did so after he read that the county was discussing other options with the city.

“We just wanted to be given fair treatment. I believe after speaking with them that they’re going to give us consideration, and that’s what this is all about,” Peck said.

The May 1 extension allows time for both the county and S.T.A.R. to explore further options, to which Peck said both sides of the process are open.

What will not change, he said, is his company’s passion for serving Montgomery County.

“We’re never going to let anybody suffer if there’s not an ambulance available. We will respond,” Peck said. “That’s who we are and that’s what we do. If the county ran out of ambulances for some reason and we had one available, we would absolutely go. The people are not only the number one goal, they are the only goal.”

The study will be performed by Ritter Strategic Services out of Hagerstown, Indiana.

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