Just over two months after Acadian Ambulance Services began providing private emergency medical services to the city of Pflugerville, City Council voted to terminate its contract with the company.

After an ongoing and contentious debate among officials and citizens centered on whether city should pay Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 an annual stipend of about $2.8 million for emergency medical services, City Council originally approved the contract with Acadian last November, and the company began providing services to the city Jan. 1.

According to city staff, Acadian submitted a letter to the city Feb. 2 stating it would terminate the agreement, providing no cause for the termination.

At a Mar. 8 meeting, council voted 5-0 to mutually terminate the contract with Acadian. Council Member Rudy Metayer and Mayor Victor Gonzales were not present for the vote.

At the same meeting, several Pflugerville residents spoke during public comment, sharing stories of their negative experiences with Acadian. Common complaints included slow response times, lack of training and insufficient equipment.

One speaker said on a recent occasion during which he called 911 after a colleague lost consciousness, a fire truck arrived in about five minutes, while the ambulance arrived closer to 18 minutes.

"It's all about time in situations like this," the speaker said. "If you lack a minute, you're closer to death."

During the March 8 meeting, City Manager Sereniah Breland Acadian is obligated to continue providing services until as late as July 13 while the city searches for an alternative service.

Council Members Ceasar Ruiz and Kimberly Holiday proposed Pflugerville pursue a contract with ESD No. 2, which previously provided EMS for the city.

However, Council Member David Rogers said the city should look into other options as well, including an agreement with another private ambulance service.

Ultimately, council agreed that whichever provider replaces Acadian, the city should move toward providing its own in-house ambulance service.

“In the long run this is going to have to be a city service, but the question is, what is the best transition to get us there?” Rogers said.

Officials will continue discussions on the best options for EMS at upcoming City Council meetings.