Emerson Ambulance Service is now serving Manila

By Rebecca Lane - bio | email

MANILA, AR. (KAIT) - With care comes controversy as Emerson Ambulance Service takes over Manila.

"They'll get as good if not better care than they had before," Fleet manager for Emerson, Kurt Beeson, claims, "I think it's really good for the city."

"My opinion," Manila resident, Gary Hill, says "We're headed down the road of within six months not having an ambulance service."

Hill shares his concern that Emerson will show favoritism toward its base county of Craighead.  Hill, with others, is concerned that if the ambulance in Manila is being utilized, someone needing assistance will be left waiting for care.

Beeson, of Emerson, is quick to address this issue.  He explains that the location of the ambulances complement each other.  If the ambulance in Manila is called out, their truck In Monette will serve as back-up, and vice versa.  The back-up will be located near Leachville so it will be around ten minutes away from any possible calls.

Another concern Beeson addressed is the fear some residents have as to whether Emerson is familiar with the area.  He explains that all Emerson vehicles are equipped with a tracking system that is more precise than g.p.s. systems.

"There should never be a problem with getting service in the town," he reassures as he goes on to say that Emerson has been in business for seventy-five years and they would not have lasted that long if they were not doing their job.

Tonight, residents will share their concerns with Mayor Clifford Veach.  This will be an opportunity for the final issues to be ironed out for the town.

Currently, Manila residents are charged $1 on their water bills to pay for ambulance service.  According to Beeson, Emerson will not be supplementing the service.  For the first year, Emerson will not be charging a fee.  By not charging this fee, Emerson will be saving the city of Manila $24,000.

While some see this as a positive move for Mississippi County, Hill fears the worst.

"Roots of Emerson Ambulance Service are from Craighead County, "he claims, "not Mississippi County.  Craighead will come first."

Beeson claims, that's not the case.

"I'm not saying that we're going to be a hundred percent perfect every time, no one is, but we'll do our very best to do the best for the city of Manila."

©2009 KAIT

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.