Monday, February 8, 2021

Pafford EMS Discusses Improved Services During Commissioners Meeting

Pafford Emergency Medical Services discussed its new organization at Monday’s weekly meeting of the Board of Sequoyah County Commissioners.

Annie Walls, Pafford’s operations manager for Oklahoma, said the company recently added an additional ambulance, along with another “surge” unit that is based in Muldrow, bringing the company’s total number of emergency vehicles to five.

With enough paramedics on staff to man three to four trucks every day of the week, along with staff for the surge truck, Walls says Pafford is poised to provide Sequoyah County residence with unparalleled service.

Commissioners expressed concerns raised by their constituents about long wait times for ambulances during emergencies. Walls said with the additional truck now available, even if two trucks are out on calls, there will still be one ambulance available as well as the surge truck, which can be sent wherever the need is the greatest.

Jessica Trichel, another Pafford operations manager, is working in Sequoyah County to implement changes and recruit new paramedics. She said she is looking to hire a “homegrown staff” because in an emergency, familiar faces are the “best people to take care of their own.”

Commissioners Jim Rogers and Ray Watts also said Pafford will need to rebuild trust with area fire departments and law enforcement agencies after several years of hard feelings. Trichel agreed, saying the company will work diligently with each agency to strengthen those ties and will strive to provide the “Pafford Promise” to all.

“All we’re wanting,” said District 3 Commissioner Jim Rogers, “is the best care for our community and our constituents and we haven’t had that for the last year.”

Walls, Trichel and Mechele Cruz, another operations manager for Pafford, agreed, admitting there has been mismanagement in the past that damaged their reputation, but the women said there has been much progress made recently to improve the quality of care.

COVID-19 cases in Sequoyah County have been in a decline, said county Emergency Management Director Steve Rutherford. He said that as of Sunday there were 256 active cases, with six new cases announced Monday. There have been 28 deaths in the county. “Hopefully we’ll continue with that downward trend,” he said.

In other business, the commissioners:

*Approved an interlocal agreement between Sequoyah County and the Town of Vian (District 2)

*Approved a programming resolution for Big Skin Bayou Bridge replacement (District 1)

*Approved an initial bid on property in Sequoyah County

*Approved the surplus of a 2013 Kubota Morbark chipper to donate to the City of Vian (District 2).

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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