Ambulance service requests additional funds from County

    (Lander, WY) – It was brought forward during the Fremont County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday that Priority Ambulance, parent company to Frontier Ambulance, is asking for an additional $386,796 to cover their collective bargaining agreement since their employees recently unionized.

    The County currently pays a $1.438 million subsidy for their service, up from $950,000 the first year. The County entered into a 5-year contract with Priority Ambulance in 2021; however, the annual subsidy is reviewed each July.

    ‘They are a business’

    “Mr. Chairman, I don’t know if they (Priority) put it in writing, but they certainly inferred that if we don’t cover this, that might just be our 90-day notice,” Commission Vice-chair Mike Jones said.


    “According to them (Priority), they’re operating at about a 6 percent margin, and this will put them underneath,” Jones continued. … “They are a business.”

    Priority Ambulance operates in 13 states, according to its website, and has been around since 2014.

    Other areas

    It was reiterated during the meeting that Fremont County is not statutorily obligated to provide ambulance service.

    According to Commission Chair Larry Allen, most of the Big Horn Basin is run by Cody Regional Health; Hot Springs County has its own ambulance service; Natrona County is hospital-based; Carbon County is partially hospital and partially subsidy-based, with citizens paying a special tax to help cover the subsidy; Sweetwater County has two ambulance services; and Teton County has its own ambulance service.


    Jones explained that Fremont County has a private hospital, not a hospital district like the other counties.

    “So do you want to spend roughly $2 million on a subsidy versus $3.5 million with the County running it?” Allen asked.

    EMS Exploratory Committee

    The Fremont County Commissioners are in the process of forming an EMS Exploratory Committee to answer the question: How does the County fund ambulance service in the future?


    The Committee will be made up of community members from each of the Commissioners’ districts.

    On Tuesday, they had a list of applicants to choose from and planned to return to the table next week with their top two choices from each of their respective districts. Commissioner Clarence Thomas only had one applicant from his district.

    Allen and Jones will lead the Committee.


    Next steps

    Jones thought that the Commission should move forward with paying the $386,796 to buy another year and leave it up to the Committee to figure out future funding, but didn’t make a motion.

    Thomas shared he was thinking about what his constituents would want.

    “I don’t think we should give into this, this greed,” he said. “I think we should put up a fight.”

    After a little more discussion, it was ultimately decided to have the Civil Attorney Nathan Maxon create a draft agreement to get it down in writing. They will then decide whether or not to make a motion on the draft agreement. This will hopefully be ready at the next Commissioner meeting.


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