SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Sussex County leaders are looking for another ambulance service, after the company they cut ties with, left earlier than they expected.
Deputy County Administrator David Conmy said the Sussex County Board of Supervisors voted on Friday, May 26 to terminate its contract with Lifestar, an ambulance provider which operated in Sussex County for nearly 10 years.
Conmy said issues related to billing and revenue collection integrity ultimately forced the county to sever ties with the company. Although the county gave Lifestar 60 days notice, which is pursuant to their contract, the company decided to leave well before the two months were up.
“It is unfortunate that the current provider withdrew their services earlier than the agreed-upon 60-day window and with only a few days’ notice provided to the County. Nevertheless, the County’s Chief of Emergency Services has been working tirelessly over the last week to secure the services of another provider through emergency procurement procedures, as authorized by the Code of Virginia,” Conmy said.
Emergency Services Solutions (ESS) stepped in on June 1 to handle calls.
“My heartfelt thanks to ESS who has come in basically in a time of crisis for the county,” said Angela McPhaul, the mayor of the town of Waverly. “My heartfelt thanks to the volunteers for stepping up and driving the ambulances. We had a major fire here on Saturday night with people putting out fires and volunteering to drive the ambulance the next day. I mean, we have people that are doing double duty.”
McPhaul said ESS came to Waverly with about a 24 hours’ notice, so they weren’t able to fully stock two rescue squads.
“We are having to provide them with volunteers. We have deputies. We have people that are working with the fire department, people that have worked with Waverly Rescue in the past that have the certifications that allow them to drive ambulances — and to supplement what ESS is not able to give us at this moment,” she added.
Conmy said county leaders are working to ensure that both sides of Sussex County receive EMS coverage.
“The County would like to extend its gratitude to the Waverly Rescue Squad, Stony Creek Rescue Squad, Town of Waverly and others for their rapid teamwork and cooperation in helping the County ensure that it meets its mandate to provide Emergency Medical Services to its citizens,” said Conmy.
Mayor McPhaul said the county recently released an RFP and hopes to get another ambulance provider by August.
8News has contacted Lifestar’s owners on Tuesday, and they declined to comment.