It is July 1, the day that Guardian takes over ground ambulance service for Fremont County under the name Guardian EMS. This means Fremont County Government is out of the EMS business for at least the next five years, per the terms of the contract with Guardian. The move to privatize the service was hotly debated for the last year until earlier this spring, when the county officially approved the contract with Guardian. "I don't think people will notice a change at all," County Commissioner Larry Allen said, in speaking about the transition happening today. Allen serves as the county's liaison to Guardian and was instrumental in putting together the deal. He says that Guardian's service will, at a minimum, equal the level of service that was provided under the county. He went on to say that Guardian will be receiving a national accreditation, which requires a high standard of care to get approved. Additionally, there will be Advanced Life Support personnel in each of the ambulances, including Dubois. Speaking earlier this week, Allen said he was looking forward to the transition. Guardian EMS Regional Program Director Matt Strauss said that changes are coming, but it will be at a gradual pace. Guardian offered all of the county EMS staff positions, and Strauss said most accepted the offer. The biggest changes will come in the form of internal processes, higher training for staff, adherence to national standards, and more professionalism, he said. In the coming months, the ambulances will be wrapped with Guardian branding, including two brand new ambulances that will be put into service soon. A new medical director has also been hired to lead the EMS team. The move to privatize began when it became clear the county's EMS service could not support itself financially, and needed significant (hundreds of thousands of dollars) infusions from the general fund. The commission's majority did not want to use those funds for a service that it is not statutorily required to provide. Read the full contract between Guardian and Fremont County.