AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Gold Cross says between rising costs, and a rising rate of patients not paying, it’s a financial emergency.
“Without help… it’s just not feasible to continue operations in Richmond County right now, we are losing money every day we operate in Richmond County,” said Gold Cross Vice President Steven Vincent.
The new contract proposed for Gold Cross calls for a one-time payment of almost $2 million and increasing the annual subsidy the city pays to almost $2 million, but it failed to get commission approval.
“It is not my money, it’s your money that they’re just giving away, any commissioner who gives them two million dollars and then another two million dollars does not need to be sitting up here with us,” said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
Gold Cross had set this week to finalize a new contract threatening to leave if it weren’t approved, commissioners said an emergency ambulance plan would come at a tremendous cost.
“Absolutely, because they would have to bring resources from surrounding counties into Richmond County to help support ambulance service here,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Garrett.
“They gave us yesterday as a deadline, we’re kind of begging them, asking them not to pull the plug yet, because it would be devastating if they end up leaving Augusta-Richmond County,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
But Gold Cross says with another meeting scheduled, the company is not leaving yet.
“Because we are trying to create a long-lasting partnership… we are going to honor their request and hold off on any action until the special called meeting happens,” said Vincent.
Gold Cross is still responding to 911, but without a new contract, the city faces an ambulance emergency.