DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The Decatur Ambulance service is dissolving, but a new provider will take its place stated Ryan Huffer, Communications Director for City of Decatur.

Decatur City Manager Scot Wrighton wrote a statement regarding the Decatur Ambulance service dissolving. “The City of Decatur learned from HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital more than a week ago that DAS would be dissolving. Since then, the City has been working on a solution with both hospitals and other key medical providers,”

“While the City’s role is to issue licenses for ambulance services, we are also leading the discussion to ensure a smooth transition of services for our community.  Everyone is committed to developing plans that result in no service interruption.”

On Tuesday, the City of Decatur met to discuss the situation. Officials said, “Leaders from the City, both local hospitals, and other local medical providers met Tuesday to move forward with a coordinated plan for securing new ambulance services. The group has finalized an ‘invitation to submit proposals’ for ambulance services, and will begin having discussions with regional private ambulance companies to see what is available for our community.”

Decatur City Manager Scot Wrighton said, “Everyone is committed to finding the best ambulance services that will ensure continuity for our citizens…This is a group effort and we are confident the end result won’t mean more burden on the taxpayers.”

Recently HSHS St. Mary’s hospital let the city know they were discontinuing their operation of Decatur Ambulance Service. The operation will not end prior to September 1st, 2022 and will extend if necessary.

St. Mary’s CEO Theresa Rutherford said, “We want the smoothest transition possible and will work with our partners to make that happen,” added, “We appreciate the collaborative effort and we look forward to examining proposals from interested private companies.”

Decatur Memorial Hospital CEO Drew Early is glad to find a solution with his colleagues. “Decatur Memorial Hospital is happy to be at the table and working with our colleagues to find a solution for our community,” added,“We know there are well-qualified private companies providing this service in the region, and we will work diligently to secure that for Decatur & Macon County.”

The goal is to replace the current single service provider with multiple providers. “A new ambulance company or companies will be encouraged to extend employment opportunities to current DAS employees that wish to continue serving Decatur & Macon County.”

Decatur said they will only issue a license for an ambulance service in Decatur after finding a suitable company or companies.

The committee working towards this goal consists of: leaders from City of Decatur Management and the Fire Chief, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Crossing Healthcare, and the Central Illinois Regional Dispatch Center.

The copy of the invitation to submit proposals is available at the Office of City Clerk.