FANNIN COUNTY, Texas (KTEN) — Starting October 1, Bonham Emergency Medical Services will be primarily on-call for the City of Bonham.

That's because Fannin County officials decided to end the arrangement for Bonham EMS to provide ambulance service outside city limits.

"We're on a tight budget," said County Judge Newt Cunningham. "We don't have a lot of money to spare. We don't have a million dollars to spare."

He said the City of Bonham offered to provide ambulance services to the county next year for almost $1.8 million.  But county leaders decided to take a more cost-efficient route by contracting with Allegiance Mobile Health.

"When you're dealing with a large ambulance service that buys a bunch of ambulances every year compared to a city that may buy one every three years, four years, or 10 years, they're going to be in a much better position," Cunningham said. 

The new partnership is expected to include three full-time ambulances across the county and 18 total EMS employees for $780,000 a year.

Bonham City Manager Sean Pate said the new arrangement should lead to faster emergency response times for all Fannin County residents.

"It's a growing county. The lakes bring a lot of people, so that's a higher demand," Pate said. "A lot of houses are being built; you know what those calls are going to be like," said Bonham City Manager Sean Pate. 

Allegiance Mobile Health will be establishing  ambulance bases in Honey Grove, Leonard, and somewhere in the western part of the county.

That gives Bonham EMS employees the opportunity to focus on providing quality care for the City of Bonham, but they will still be available to provide assistance outside the city limits when when necessary.

"We've got a lot of raw land. We've got a lot of developers knocking on our door," Pate said. "We're going to continue to have a lot of rooftops, so that's a lot of area for us to be able to focus on, and that's where our priority is... our priority is our citizens."