ANSON, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In the state of Texas, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are not considered an essential service, according to Anson City Manager Sonny Campbell. He said for almost a decade, the city and other donors have funded the service.

“What that means is nobody has the responsibility of providing EMS. It’s not the city’s responsibility, it’s not the hospital’s responsibility,” Campbell explained.

He shared that every year, anxiety sparks up while trying to acquire enough funds.

“Since 2015 and up until currently, we’ve spent over a million dollars just funding EMS,” said Campbell.

Previously, the Anson General Hospital fully funded the service. Due to limited funding in rural healthcare areas, the city, hospital and other donors jointly covered costs, but with rising costs in EMS, it’s unclear if Jones County will have the service in 2023.

“It’s going to be a continued problem from now on unless we get some help… with the new tax caps and everything else going up, we just can’t afford to pay the whole bill this year,” Campbell added.

Anson General Hospital Interim CEO Ted Matthews said with no EMS service, people’s lives could be at risk.

“At one time, we had three hospitals here in Jones County. We are the last remaining hospital and we serve all of Jones County, so we have to have those services,” Matthews explained.

He said the next step is for Texas lawmakers to support rural areas like Anson.

“Access to care and the gold standard of care is critical in these rural communities… We have to have that need. We have to have a solution to this,” expressed Matthews.

The current EMS contract ends in April, when it will be determined if there is enough funding this year. The City of Anson is planning to cover a third of the cost while the Anson General Hospital board meets on March 28 to decide how much funding is available for EMS.