ADA — Area race fans who had feared the only local track would close its doors can rest easier after track officials announced they signed on with a new ambulance provider that will allow them to keep racing.

George Welch, Oklahoma Sports Park owner said earlier this week he may be forced to close the track northwest of Ada at the end of the month because he’d been told that Valley View Regional Hosital would no longer provide emergency medical service.

But Welch signed an agreement with a Purcell company late Wednesday, meaning races at OSP will continue.

Wadley Ambulance Service, an independent company, will take over for Valley View after June 23, Valley View’s last anticipated stand-by date.

Valley View officials said scheduling off-duty EMS personnell had been one of the problems with continuing their commitment to OSP. They also noted the hospital’s non-profit designation made it difficult for them to justify offering service to a for-profit business like OSP.

Although Valley View’s decision worried and angered Welch, he said the transition to service with Wadley will be a financial windfall to OSP.

The new ambulance service will not only be keeping OSP’s doors open, it will also save Welch approximately $35 an hour from the past $110 an hour amount he was paying Valley View for the service.

Welch said he contacted Wadley Ambulance Service after a driver from the track mentioned the independent service.

According to Welch, the owners of the Purcell company are fans of the OSP races and travel down from Purcell as often as they can to attend the events.

“They are people who come to the races, so they were very interested in providing the ambulance service,” he said.

Before Wednesday afternoon, Welch was panicked about the outcome of Valley View’s decision. But the news about the Wadley Service has alleviated his fears.

“I am elated that we found a new service,” Welch said. “My blood pressure went down 20 points (Wednesday) afternoon.”

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