By Ray King

Two committees of the Pine Bluff City Council on Wednesday recommended that the full council approve a new 10-year contract for Emergency Ambulance Service Inc., (EASI)l. The company still has about three years on its current contract which was renewed in 2018.

The Public Safety and Public Health and Welfare Committees held a joint meeting where the subject was brought up. Win Trafford, who is chairman of the Public Safety Committee appeared on the 101.3 morning show Thursday and explained why the subject came up.

“I think it is time to get it back like it was long ago with an automatic renewal clause,” Trafford said.

Josh Bishop, the CEO of EASI also appeared on the morning show Thursday and said his company would like the extended contract, particularly from a business standpoint.

Trafford said EASI has roughly 10 years left on a note with a local bank from when the company bought and refurbished three buildings formerly owned by Smart Motors on West 5th Avenue where, he said, they build a state of the art dispatch center, sleeping quarters for the crews and a mechanic shop.

He also said that “They have truly showed what type of partner they are and their commitment to our city.

In addition to Pine Bluff, Bishop said EASI also has contracts with White Hall, Star City, Warren, Rison, England and Dewitt which are similar to the contract with Pine Bluff, with one exception.

He said that after the committee meeting, he understood that the matter would come up at the next city council meeting the first Monday in May.

“In a perfect world I guess they will get in done that night,” Bishop said. “It would be great if they made it happen.”

Listen to all of Josh Bishop’s comments in the audio player below: