AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta commissioners voted no on Thursday afternoon to a new ambulance contract with Ameripro EMS.

On a five-to-five vote, with Mayor Garnett Johnson breaking the tie, city leaders rejected the staff recommendation for the new ambulance provider.

Ameripro outscored longtime provider Gold Cross during evaluations but did not win over a majority of the commission.

“My concern is the company has never did any coverage over 22,000 residents,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle, “Augusta is 207,000 [residents], I think what we’re going to be doing is setting ourselves up for failure. We have the local provider, we have the 250 employees here, the money stays here.”

City Attorney Wayne Brown said the no vote will doom Augusta’s chances to control the ambulance zone. However, Gold Cross officials who surrendered the zone last month say they are considering applying before Friday’s deadline.

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 for updates on this developing story.