Domino effect after Pauls Valley hospital closes

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. - The domino effect after Pauls Valley General closed its doors left people in the area not only without an ER, but also without an ambulance service.

The minute the hospital closed its doors at 5 p.m. Friday, October 12, Pauls Valley Police Chief Mitch McGill said the ambulance service went with it. That’s why he and other city officials have been working around the clock to make sure the area is covered.

McGill was able to line up Wadley’s Ambulance Service to pick up the slack as soon as it was needed.

“We contracted them basically day by day,” McGill said. He and other city officials were interviewing other ambulance services in the meantime to get a permanent replacement.

“Murray County, Elmore City, some more Wadley’s out of Purcell, everybody was having to help everybody even continuing today,” McGill said, “but it's working, and it's getting better by the day.”

Now Mercy’s ambulance service has been contracted with the city. Full coverage by the company is expected by December.

But figuring out emergency crews is just the tip of the iceberg.

The civil workers navigating the closure of the hospital don’t have experience with such a thing.

The city manager and the police chief both said the hospital’s former management group, Alliance Health Partners, left more than a month’s work unfinished before it took off, dropping the job in the city’s lap.

The city manager said the main priority is to get the 130 laid off workers paid the money they're due, which he said runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.