AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — It could be the end of the Gold Cross era for ambulance service in Augusta, with a recommendation to turn the Richmond County zone over to Central EMS.   

“They did not give a hard number, they refused to do that, because they’re not going to come in here without making a profit, if they don’t make a profit, they’re going to do their stuff down the road,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle. 

Central EMS’ president did not include how much the company will charge Augusta if it gets the ambulance zone but did say the company wants a ten percent profit.

For commissioners who supported Gold Cross, that is creating sticker shock.  

“Now we got Central at the table about to get the zone and it’s going to be three to four million dollars, as a commissioner I’m not going to support that, he said yesterday he has to make ten percent profit and he knows the subsidy we’ve been paying Gold Cross is ridiculous,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.

Commissioners supporting Gold Cross had proposed a $1.9 million subsidy. 

“This cost is going to be anywhere from three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half million dollars, that’s going to be a hard sell to our constituents especially when you had somebody at the table willing to do it for one-point-nine,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Garrett.  

Central EMS says the price will be determined by negotiations, and the more service the city wants, the higher the price.

“We do have the resources and the financial stability in order to make it happen, it’s now a matter of negotiating with the city-county to get what they want and what we need,” said Central EMS President Gary Coker. 

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle proposed to get outside experts to help Augusta get what it needs for ambulance service.

“Bring a consultant in to do the package, to what the providers would have to agree to make sure the citizens are protected from the time they make their phone call to the time they deliver to the hospital,” said Guilfoyle.

A final decision on the ambulance zone still has to be made, but that could prove to be the easy part.