PEMISCOT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Jeffery Thomas is in the process of becoming a parent.
"We've got a foster baby who we are in the process of adopting and he's a medical baby," said Thomas.
The child he is adopting needs constant attention.
"A first responder pulled up and he's the one who let us know that the ambulance was tied up at a wreck down in Steele," said Thomas.
And that was the only one on duty.
Kerry Noble, the Chief Executive Officer of Pemiscot Memorial, said the hospital can't really support more than two staffed ambulances to cover the entire county.
"All that revenue comes to the hospital for the purpose of capital improvement," said Noble. "Some of it may be used for the ambulance service but it's not for the operation of the ambulance service."
Operation costs run about $150,000 subsidized, according to Noble.
"Historically, the ambulance service has always operated at a sufficient financial deficit," said Noble. "Primarily due to the fact that there is low reimbursement for the high volume of Medicaid and indigent that we serve in Pemiscot County."
Thomas said the lack of ambulance service scares him.
"You still need that backup," said Thomas. "In case that you are not able to take care of it and have that access to get the hospital where the helicopter or air evac could get him off to Cape or St. Louis or wherever."
Kerry Noble said numerous companies have approached the hospital and offered to provide ambulance service. After the companies look at the numbers, they back out due to the high numbers of Medicaid runs.