Megargel's mayor and fire chief is facing scrutiny now that neighbors there are learning he's ordered ambulance service to the town be provided by only Archer City instead of also by Olney.
Residents of the small community are concerned because Archer City is twice as far away from Megargel as Olney and they fear waiting for first responders to arrive will put those in their community at risk.
Beverly Stephens, a long time Megargel residents, says she does not think relying on one ambulance service is a good idea.
"I think we need emergency response as much as we can get to because the distance between the local towns, that can be life threatening," Stephens says.
Kelly DeSautel, Megargel's mayor and fire chief as well as Archer County's Emergency Management Coordinator, ordered Archer County dispatchers to only dispatch Archer City ambulances to Megargel instead of also Olney.
Megargel sits 13 miles away from Olney and 23 miles from Archer City.
Megargel resident John Pechacek says, "It don't even seem right. It seems like it's something that might be personal. It don't seem like it's the right thing to do."
In addition, other residents like Jody Freeman say, "I think it should go back to Olney being dispatched as well because I have children, small children and it kind of scares me. I think it should change back to the way it was."
In a letter DeSautel sent to Archer County Sheriff Staci Beesinger dated June 27, 2013, he states there are concerns that have been brought to his attention regarding Olney EMS response to Megargel and that he was requesting Archer ambulance respond to Megargel EMS calls until further notice.
"I think we as a community should, all of us have the right," Freeman says. "We live here and it's a choice I think that we should be a part of making."
Stephens says, "I think they should have had a meeting and involved other people in the community to get everybody's opinion on it whether they think that's good for us or not."
DeSautel for an interview on this issue but he declined to go on camera.
He issued this statement:
"I am not ready to make a statement at this time due to the fact that this topic is under discussion with city council. I will restate that due to uncertainty with previous ambulance service and to provide the best medical service to the citizens of Megargel that Archer ambulance was being utilized until further notice."
Sheriff Beesinger issued her own statement on the issue:
"My office assumed all involved were on board with the change. I wasn't aware of the fact that Megargel city officials and/or Megargel fire department members were not consulted on this decision until Tuesday, Oct. 15th when I rec'd calls from some city council members and fire department members wanting to know why Archer City ambulance was being sent to their area instead of the Olney ambulance. They advised me that neither the city council nor the fire department members had ever voted on this issue which is their right to do so."
Sheriff Beesinger says she is waiting for Archer County Judge Gary Beesinger to return from vacation to consult with him on the matter.
She does say it's protocol for each city and each department to decide who they want to respond to their area when it comes to ambulance service.
Archer City officials say because of the drought and to save money, the city will eliminate one of its two ambulances starting on Jan. 1.