Catahoula Parish/NELA Ambulance Services reach agreement to keep EMS services in parish

Catahoula Parish Police Jury
Catahoula Parish Police Jury(KNOE)
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 8:59 PM CST
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HARRISONBURG, La. (KNOE) - Ambulance services are staying in Catahoula Parish for now.

Northeast Louisiana Ambulance Services have agreed to a deal that is now pending a police jury vote.

“The people deserve to have ambulance service in the parish,” Catahoula Parish Sheriff Toney Edwards told KNOE.

Edwards has agreed to split the cost with the police jury to keep services running through January 15.

“Him and I had talked about if we could get them to stay and whatever price we could get them to pay for,” said Edwards. “I told him the Sheriff’s Office would be willing to pay half of that.”

NELA Ambulance said they were ending service on Thanksgiving Day in October, claiming they were losing money on calls in Catahoula Parish.

“They said they would do it for around $15,000,” explained Edwards. “I’m still willing as a department to pay half of that.”

Edwards says the money will come from the parish’s prison budget.

“As public officials, I think we are all responsible and liable to our citizens to have an ambulance here in our parish,” Edwards told KNOE. “We don’t have a hospital, so the next best thing is to have an ambulance service.”

Edwards adds he is willing to chip in past the January 15 date.

“Absolutely,” said Edwards. “Whatever they agree on, I will still be willing to split the expense with the police jury.”

Edwards says he is still determining the effect a re-allocation of funds will have on services at the parish prison.