City of Pharr purchases embattled EMS company
After weeks of negotiations and hearings before a U. S. Bankruptcy Court, the city of Pharr announced Tuesday the acquisition of a former EMS company to create the city’s first-ever EMS department.
At a hearing on Monday, Judge David R. Jones issued a verbal ruling for the city to purchase all of the assets of Hidalgo County EMS for $1 million.
The city was the sole bidder to purchase the assets, which included 98 ambulances, air ambulance services, existing contracts, all EMS equipment, monitors, phones and radios, according to a news release from the city.
Last month, Hidalgo County EMS Owner Kenneth B. Ponce was convicted of fraud after he admitted to falsely disclosing his company’s finances to commit bankruptcy fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The purchase of Hidalgo County EMS was announced after the city approved an ordinance to create the Pharr Emergency Medical Services Department to provide emergency medical services response within the city. It will be the sole primary provider of emergency ambulance services for the city of Pharr, the news release stated.
City Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Danny Ramirez has been named EMS chief of the department. According to the news release, the department will also service the cities of Peñitas, Sullivan City, Hidalgo County Precinct 3, Hidalgo County Emergency Services District #2, and will serve as backup to the city of Mission.
The city is also scheduled to hold a job fair on Friday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pharr Events Center to staff the department.