GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) – A controversial private EMS provider which lost a recent contract bid to continue providing services in Bastrop County has merged with Allegiance Ambulance out of Georgetown.
In a video announcement posted on May 1, Allegiance CEO David Phillips says the merger agreement immediately includes Guardian EMS’s contracts in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and also in the College Station and Bryan area.
Guardian staff in other areas will transition over the next several months and include outposts in: Portland, Alice, Corpus Christi, Brownwood and Abilene, Phillips said.
“This will make Allegiance the largest Texas-based private ambulance with nearly a hundred operating ambulances by the end of the year,” Phillips said in the video.
Allegiance’s website says it provides medical transport services mainly in north and east Texas as well as 911 EMS transport in San Jacinto County and areas of Leon County.
In Austin, publicly funded Austin-Travis County EMS provides emergency service.
“Please welcome our new co-workers to our family,” Phillips added. “As you know, Guardian has been very successful in the marketplace. And we are certain with our strong financial position and our positive corporate environment, the Guardian field personnel and management can be even more successful.”
In January, Bastrop County Commissioner’s Court agreed to stage a Request for Proposals after a KXAN Investigation brought attention to dozens of public complaints about Guardian EMS from the professionalism of its paramedics to several failed state inspections of its signature bright yellow ambulances.
Acadian EMS which has dispatch services in Austin won the new contract in March. The new contract ended an annual $350,000 subsidy Guardian received in the five-plus years its staff served Bastrop County.
“Acadian stood out,” Bastrop’s Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fisher told the court this spring. “In terms of equipment, maintenance (and) quality control of staffing.”
New colors for Guardian’s CEO
But it’s not the end for Guardian’s CEO Ricky Powell. Allegiance’s Phillips said in the video announcement Powell will now wear Allegiance’s uniform, acting as the company’s COO, in charge of all field operations, communications and dispatch and IT matters.
Phillips also said while the acquisition will mean significant shift changes for some staff, salaries are expected to increase between 12 and 20 percent.