PLAINVIEW, Minn. - As of January 1st at 7 AM, the ambulance provider in Plainview is Gold Cross Ambulance Service. Roughly a decade ago, the City of Plainview reached out to Gold Cross Ambulance Service for help with their ambulance services. Since then, a Gold Cross director has managed the service since then. Now, the Plainview Emergency Medical Services has officially handed the reins over to Gold Cross.
"Over the years, it's been increasingly difficult to get volunteers to volunteer on these rural ambulance services and that's not just unique to Plainview, that's a nationwide problem," says Gold Cross assistant supervisor Angie Jarrett. "The education requirements are very high and it's not an easy course to take, nor is it an easy exam to pass and then there's the level of commitment that it takes."
The city's EMS licenses are transferred to Gold Cross at no cost. The city is also giving them about $150,000 worth of equipment as long as Gold Cross stays in Plainview for at least five years. "This does not obligate them to stay, but they would have to pay a prorated amount if they decided to end the lease," says a press release from the city. The current ambulance facility is leased to Gold Cross for $1 per year.
Plainview Ambulance was a tax-funded service, but Gold Cross is not. The city estimates that they are saving $500,000 because of this change. However, this does not mean that taxes will drop. Instead, the money will be put to use in future capital projects.
Through Gold Cross's occupation of Plainview, citizens will receive certain care that was not available previously through Plainview Ambulance. Plainview Ambulance staff are all EMTs, but Gold Cross will staff both EMTs and paramedics, who have additional training. "The difference between the basic life support and advanced life support is the ability to do certain interventions. One of those interventions could mean pain management so having an advanced provider, a paramedic on scene, that paramedic is able to administer IV pain meds on scene," explains Jarrett. Additionally, when people call 9-1-1, a medical dispatcher will be talk them through how to give CPR until help is available.
Plainview Ambulance staff had the option to join the Gold Cross team when Plainview Ambulance ended service.
"We’re looking forward to the improvements that ownership by Gold Cross will bring to the service... The City is extremely thankful to the Plainview Ambulance staff for their dedication and flexibility during this transition," says city administrator Clarissa Hadler.
If residents have questions or concerns about the change, they're encouraged to contact Hadler or Gold Cross.