Media Release from the City of Rockport | "City of Rockport to Contract with Allegiance Ambulance For EMS Services"

(Posted July 9, 2014 at 5:43pm) 
Rockport City Council voted unanimously last night to direct the City Manager and City Attorney to enter into negotiations with Allegiance Ambulance, a Georgetown, TX-based ambulance and emergency services company that also serves Portland and other South Texas communities, to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the residents of Rockport effective September 1. The motion also included a proviso that the company provide a minimum of three resident 911ambulances at all times.

The decision came after nearly three months of public and private meetings among the City of Rockport, Town of Fulton, Aransas County, and EMS providers Allegiance, Aransas County EMS (ACEMS), and Coastal Care EMS following an unexpected request from ACEMS to immediately increase their public subsidy from $372,000 to $900,000 with no cap on the ultimate cost. The three public entities had met for several hours earlier in the day to receive a report on ACEMS from consultant Warren Hassinger and to hear presentations from the three EMS providers.

According to Rockport Mayor C.J. Wax, the decision was not a reflection on the professionalism and service provided by ACEMS, but was driven by the belief that Allegiance was better positioned over the long term to provide superior emergency medical services to the citizens of Rockport.

“Since the beginning of this year, the three entities have provided ACEMS with $58,000 more than the $372,000 budgeted The funding level requested by ACEMS was not only twice as much quoted by the other two companies, it also didn’t have a guaranteed cap or a comprehensive operational plan,” Wax stated.

“As stewards of the residents’ tax dollars, Council could not, in good conscience, continue its relationship with ACEMS,” he added. He noted that both Allegiance and Coastal Care had offered current ACEMS employees first consideration in hiring.

This difficult decision was made following weeks of discussions, public hearings and an afternoon joint workshop session with the elected officials of Aransas County and the Town of Fulton. The joint workshop began with a report from Warren Hassinger, an EMS consultant, followed by presentations from the three potential 911 providers.

Hassinger was hired by the entities on May 27 to review the operations, equipment, management and billing practices of Aransas County Emergency Medical Services (ACEMS), a non-profit organization that has provided 911 services to the community for 35 years.

The report was commissioned shortly after the entities had received the April 25th request from ACEMS to immediately increase their public subsidy from $372,000 to $900,000. The government entities agreed to provide the additional $58,000 in funding above and beyond what had been budgeted and asked ACEMS’ cooperation in reviewing the operations and finances. Hassinger began work on June 2 with a targeted due date of July 1.

On June 6th, each of the entities received a letter from ACEMS that included a new interlocal contract with a begin date of July 1 and a clause calling for back payment from January 1. The date was later revised to July 8 to allow time for the consultant’s report to be developed and delivered to the entities for review and questions. At the July 8 City Council meeting, both the Chairman of the ACEMS Board of Directors and the Director of Operations stated that they could not refute any of the findings in the consultant’s report.

The consultant’s report is available on the home page of the City’s website, located at

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