by Karen Sherrell
In an open letter to the public from Ozark EMS of Calico Rock, owners Leon and Kathy Cheatham announced that they will cease operation in Izard County as of September 1.
Ozark EMS began serving eastern Carroll County as the primary ambulance service on April 1, with two locations, in Berryville and Green Forest.
The letter, dated August 1 stated, “It is with many prayers and thought on both mine and Kathy’s part that we are saddened to announce that as of September 1, 2016, Ozark EMS will no longer be serving/operating in Izard County.
“The judge, David Sherrell, and the EMS Board, Jessica Sanders, Josh Wilson, Michelle Gray, Carl Pitts, Mark Herrington, and Dave Watts, have entered into a five year contract with Vital Link for two ambulances to serve all of Izard County. Oxford, Melbourne, and Horseshoe have exclusive city contracts with Vital Link.
“We are moving all our services to Carroll County. We feel that this is where we need to be at this time.
“We have loved our time here in Izard County, but feel that our endeavor here is a losing battle. We know we will never be the primary provider for our home, Izard County.
“With sincere thanks and gratitude for all your support, Leon and Kathy Cheatham.”
Vital Link EMS provides emergency and non-emergency medical services to Independence, Izard, Stone, and surrounding counties. They have a contract with Izard County to provide two ambulances, with one housed in Horseshoe Bend and a base in Melbourne. A third ambulance is in reserve for use in Izard County.
Vital Link also has a substation at Southside School, in Independence County, and in Mountain View, Stone County.

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