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Fort Fairfield switches ambulance providers

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — As of May 1, the town of Fort Fairfield is relying on the city of Presque Isle for emergency ambulance services.

Fort Fairfield made the switch from Northern Light AR Gould Hospital to the city of Presque Isle after an effort failed to renew a contract with Northern Light, said Fort Fairfield Police Chief Shawn Newel.

“We were unable to come to an agreement on cost and services,” Newell said. “The council and town manager made the decision to switch to Presque Isle at a reduced rate with coverage equal to if not better.”

Newell said that Fort Fairfield Town Manager Andrea Powers, who oversees contracts for the town, consulted with the town council members, who agreed to change providers.

The contract with Presque Isle will run for one-year and will cost less per-capita, Newell said.

After one year, “we will we reassess and go from there,” Newell said.

Northern Light’s ambulance service, which covers a large part of central Aroostook County, had an ambulance stationed at Fort Fairfield’s public safety department. Now, an ambulance will serve Fort Fairfield out of the Presque Isle Fire Department.

Newell said the town’s main priority in the contract effort is to ensure the availability of quality, round-the-clock emergency services.

“If citizens have any concerns, they can reach out to me and I can discuss with them.”

Presque Isle split from Northern Light Health’s ambulance service in the spring of 2017, when the city launched its own ambulance service under the fire department.

In January, the towns of Wade and Washburn also dropped coverage from Northern Light Health and contracted for ambulance services with Caribou and Presque Isle.

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