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August 26, 2019

Presque Isle hospital ends local ambulance service after losing contracts

Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital, in Presque Isle, is ending its it local ambulance service after several Aroostook County towns changed their contracted emergency transport providers.

Gould will discontinue the service after Dec. 31 because there are now not enough 911 calls to keep it running, according to a news release last week.

The decision affects only communities in the Presque Isle region, the hospital said. Gould’s ambulance service, Northern Light Medical Transport and Emergency Care, currently serves communities including Limestone, Mapleton and Mars Hill.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make,” Gould President Greg LaFrancois said in the release. “We understand the ending of this service will cause uncertainty in some communities.”

The Presque Isle Fire Department launched an emergency medical service in 2017. The towns of Fort Fairfield, Wade and Washburn have recently contracted with the 19-member department, most of whom are emergency medical technicians or paramedics, in hopes of receiving faster response.

The fire department is able to expand its ambulance coverage area, LaFrancois said.

Gould will now focus its transport capabilities on moving critical-care patients and transferring patients to other facilities, services that are still in demand, according to the release.

A.R. Gould, which changed its name from the Aroostook Medical Center in 2018, is an 89-bed hospital with over 1,000 employees. It has provided emergency medical services in the Presque Isle region for over 30 years.

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