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Pafford buys Nevada County Ambulance Service

By Staff, 02/10/21 11:12 AM

PRESCOTT – Pafford Medical Services has taken over the Nevada County Ambulance Service.

This is what the Nevada County Quorum Court was told at its February meeting Tuesday. Nick Hibbs, former owner of the NCAS, said he took over 17 years ago and it’s been a struggle to  maintain services as costs keep going up and reimbursements from Medicaid and Medicare are reduced. With COVID, he continued, he isn’t sure small emergency medical services can continue to operate. The way forward, he added, is with larger services that have more employees and equipment.

Pafford bought the NCAS, he said, on Feb. 1, 2021 and has been operating it. Hibbs will stay on as a consultant. Most of the staff will also remain with the service.

Jamie Pafford, with Pafford EMS, said she’s known Hibbs for 20 years and they’ve shared a lot of the same experiences – putting their people first and the community second – and have the same goals. She said this has been in the works the last six months, informing the court she serves on a national board and this is the fourth  small ambulance service Pafford has taken over.

She said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson knows about the problem small services have. Counties, she continued, don’t have the funds to help ambulance services, and assistance is needed from the state and federal governments.

Pafford said her family has been in the ambulance business for 50 years and it’s something she’s been involved with her entire life. She added most Americans have no idea what emergency medical technicians go through and asked the court to assign the contract from the NCAS to Pafford.

Pafford will continue providing two trucks in Nevada County, with the same commitment the NCAS has had, and will keep the current management team. Pafford, she said, has 1,600 employees in five states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  She said Hempstead County resources will also be available in Nevada County.

When it came to the funding the federal government provided for COVID  relief, Pafford said ambulance services nationwide only received $350 million.

“We hope to keep doing the same job as Nick,” she said. “We’re only a phone call away.” Pafford told the court dispatching won’t be changed and will continue to go through the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) and be relayed to Pafford. Changes will occur, she added, such as the uniforms and color of the ambulances, along with an upgraded radio system.

Hibbs said they’re doing everything possible to make the transition be as smooth as possible.

The court agreed to transfer the contract and will have a new one ready for its March meeting.