City Council originally approved the contract with Acadian last November, and the company began providing services to the city Jan. 1.
During a March 8 meeting, council voted 5-0 to mutually terminate the contract with Acadian—a move that came more than a month after Acadian submitted a letter to the city of Pflugerville on Feb. 2 stating it would terminate the contract.
At the March 8 meeting, several Pflugerville residents shared stories of negative experiences with Acadian.
Neither Acadian nor city officials provided a reason for the dissolution during the council meeting, but on March 22, Pflugerville City Council Member David Rogers said Acadian’s performance was not a factor in the decision. A few missteps aside, he said it had good response times for January and February.
Rogers said ultimately the city could not resolve a question of jurisdictional authority with Acadian.
“The short answer is there was a misunderstanding between Acadian and the city about how much authority the city had with regard to the [city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ],” Rogers said.
Because Travis County contracts with a private dispatch company, the county decides how calls are routed, Rogers said. He added city officials asked Travis County to route EMS calls within the Pflugerville ETJ to Acadian, but the county decided instead to send them to Emergency Services District No. 2. “When Acadian ran the numbers to contract with the city, they ran the numbers on the assumption that they would be serving the city and the ETJ,” Rogers said. “And the numbers just don’t work for them if they’re only servicing the city and not the ETJ.”
Butch Oberhoff, the company’s director of governmental relations and business development, sent an email statement to Community Impact Newspaper corroborating Rogers’ assessment of a jurisdictional dispute. “Based on discussions concerning changes in the geographic territory to be covered since the RFP was issued, and proposed changes to the language in the contract, both entities thought it would be best to end the agreement and allow the city to seek alternative options for ambulance service,” Oberhoff said in the statement.
Rogers said Acadian is still contractually obligated to provide service until July 13, and ESD 2 has been and will continue to respond to EMS calls within Pflugerville’s ETJ for the foreseeable future.
There is not yet a timeline for when a search committee will bring new options before council, according to city staff.
Carson Ganong contributed to this report.