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The Grant County Sheriff's Office announced Friday, March 24th, that a new rural-support ambulance service will be taking over.

 AMR leaving, replaced by LifeLine

AMR, or American Medical Response, has been providing services with Grant County to provide certain ambulance and emergency services in rural areas, but it will withdraw, ending July 1st.

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According to the GCSO, AMR had been providing ambulance services since 2010:

"However, citing rising employee costs, inflation, and the lack of an increase from Washington Medicaid reimbursements, AMR requested $350,000 from Grant County municipalities and fire districts to supplement their Grant County operations. When divided among agencies, those costs would greatly impact the budgets of municipalities and fire districts and are estimated at as high as $160,000 for Grant County Fire District 5, $80,000 for the City of Ephrata, and $58,000 for Fire District 7."

While the parting is an amicable business decision, services will have to be replaced. the GCSO says LifeLine, who already serve multiple areas in north and central WA, will take over on July 1st:

"Their home office in Wenatchee, Wash., LifeLine provides ambulance service to 27,000 square miles of Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties. LifeLine answers over 10,000 calls for help each year. LifeLine operates out of five stations and employs 75."

According to the GCSO:

 "One of LifeLine’s proposed models comprises Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances staffed by Emergency Medical Technicians and an Advanced Life Support Paramedic in a quick response (or “sprint”) vehicle. LifeLine would provide service to an area that includes the cities and rural areas of Ephrata, Soap Lake, Wilson Creek, Warden, rural Moses Lake, a small portion of rural Quincy, and sprint paramedic response to Royal Slope."

Efforts are already underway to make sure the transition is as seamless as possible.

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