YELL COUNTY, Ark. – For the last few years, controversy has surrounded Yell County EMS. A 2016 audit found nearly $700,000 was missing from the budget.
In 2018, the former director and his wife, Sidney and Donna Ward, pleaded guilty to embezzlement. After that, the future of the EMS service was up in the air, until now.
Once a place surrounded by controversy is now a home for celebration. Pinnacle EMS is taking over what was formerly known as Yell County EMS.
“We’re real fortunate to have them step in and take us under their wing,” said Pinnacle EMS assistant director Bobby Childress.
Childress was on staff when it was Yell County EMS. He had no idea what was happening behind the scenes as the budget was being embezzled.
“The image that was brought onto us, unfortunate, we had a lot of great people that worked here that had nothing to do with that,” he said.
Dr. Art Isely is the medical director. He says this is a new chapter for Yell County with Pinnacle EMS.
“That’s in the past. You can’t change the past, but you can for sure change the future. That’s what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to change the future here,” said Dr. Isely.
The Arkansas Heart Hospital will be overseeing Pinnacle EMS.