Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains who they're trying to help and why not everyone agrees that it's a much-needed service.
Josh Kimbrow is the Agency Administrator for Palouse Area Care and Transport, or PACT-EMS. It's a new Moscow-based ambulance transport service.
"We're licensed at the ALS-1 level, which means pre-hospital facility advanced life support and critical care transport," said Kimbrow. "We focus on non-emergent medical transportation."
They've been on call 24-seven since January…
"We'll really take a patient anywhere they need to go," said Kimbrow. "We've gone to Boise, we've gone to Oregon, and other places as well."
"Sirens are a rare exception," said Kimbrow. "Sometimes we will run lights."
Kimbrow said the service has been needed in Moscow for years.
"We were in talks with Gritman, and it was taking between five and nine hours in order to arrange inter facility transport," said Kimbrow. "So what we did is decided to fill that void, and provide immediate transport for non-emergent medical transportation."
But Moscow's Volunteer Fire Department EMS Division Chief Dave Reynolds said he believes a private EMS company in Moscow simply isn't necessary.
"Moscow Ambulance has been providing transport service locally for many decades," said Reynolds. "We've been building up our transport capability, mostly in the last four to eight years."
Reynolds said the department is fully capable of covering all of the city's emergencies and non-emergency requests for transfers. But he said at this point, they don't have a reason to be concerned about PACT EMS.
"We really don't know what the impact is going to be," said Reynolds. "We know that there's about 120 calls a year that are out-of-area transports that are significant, and we really don't know what that impact is going to be."
Kimbrow said PACT EMS hopes to work with the volunteer fire department to serve the community...
"The biggest thing we can tell them is that we're not 9-1-1," said Kimbrow. "If you're in a true emergency or you're at home, dial 9-1-1. When you need to get somewhere else. That's what we're here for."
Kimbrow said insurance generally covers the cost of the Pact EMS Transport Services. And he said so far, the business is doing well. They ran about 21 calls in the month of March.