Champion EMS has officially taken over ambulance service in the City of Van.

The change comes after ETMC announced last month that they would pull out of Van, and four other East Texas cities.

Van City Administrator Yvonne McCauley said the decision to go with Champion comes at a cost to the city.

"We went from not paying, other than the subscriber fee, to having a subsidiary fee of an additional $5,000 a month," McCauley said. "The bottom line is they want $10,000 a month to be our porovider.

After several weeks of numerous City Council meetings, the city agreed to Champion's request.

"We had no other option," McCauley said. "We contacted five other ambulance companies and none were willing to come for one city in a county."

Van residents will now have to pay $10 per month on their city water bills to cover the ambulance fees.

While the cost is much higher than when being served by ETMC, city officials belief it is worth the cost to ensure safety and efficient response time.