Ambulance franchises approved for two

Published 8:40 am Tuesday, March 2, 2010

WINTON – Ricky White is happy. Ditto for Scott and Donna Hurdle.

That trio, respectively the owners of White Oak Medical Transport of Windsor and Med Ex Medical Transport Service of Ahoskie, had their applications for an Ambulance Franchise approved here Monday morning by the Hertford County Board of Commissioners.

The wait was a long one for White who has spent the better part of four years attempting to do business in Hertford County. Since his company is already operating under a state permit, White Oak can immediately offer non-emergency transport services to Hertford County residents.

“I promise you I will give your citizens the best care possible,” White said.

White added he was waiting for the commissioners’ approval of his franchise application before he took the step of possibly opening a branch office in Hertford County.

“I will be looking to add workers and I promise you I will look at hiring Hertford County residents,” White said.

Meanwhile, the Hurdles, as a fledging new company, are required to wait up to 150 days before they can begin offering transports. Now that their local application is approved, the Hurdles can take that paperwork to Raleigh to gain the necessary state permits. Once that occurs and the final documents presented back in Hertford County, Med Ex is allowed to begin transporting patients.

“To both of you, please give our citizens the best care possible; this board expects no less,” Commissioner Curtis Freeman advised the representatives of the two companies.

Commissioner Howard Hunter III made the motion to approve, declaring that both companies fulfilled section 4.4 of the newly revised franchise ordinance. That section of the ordinance deals with (a) the applicant meeting state standards and standards outlined in the franchise ordinance, or is reasonably expected to meet such standards within 150 days of granting of a franchise; provided, no patients may be transported unless and until all standards are met; (b) the proposed service will fit within the existing service so as not to adversely affect the level of service or operations of other franchisees to render service; and (c) a need exists for the proposed service in order to improve the level of ambulance services available to residents of the county and that this is a reasonable cost effective manner of meeting the need.

Freeman offered a second and the motion passed without objection.

The newly revised franchise ordinance gained final approval at the commissioners’ Feb. 15 meeting. At that time, the board was given the applications of three potential new franchisees, forwarded from the county’s Medical Service Transportation Advisory Council. That group found the applications of Med Ex and White Oak to be in order and recommended approval of franchises for those two businesses. A third applicant, Health Link of Williamston, was found to be missing the required financial information on the company, leading the Advisory Council to disapprove their bid for a franchise.

The commissioners tabled their decision until yesterday’s (Monday) meeting in order to have additional time to study the franchise applicants.

White Oak and Med Ex join Hertford County EMS and Bertie Ambulance Service as the franchised businesses who are allowed to serve Hertford County residents needing non-emergency medical transportation.