Freeman Health Systems long-standing attempt to gain control of Metro Emergency Transport System (METS), formerly known Joplin Emergency Management Services (JEMS) was dealt a blow by the Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals Tuesday.
In a unanimous decision, the court upheld an earlier decision by Jasper County Circuit Court Judge David Dally which said Freeman and St. John's should each have three of the six seats on the METS board. METS provides ambulance service for the Joplin area.
When METS started as JEMS in 1981, Freeman, St. John's, and Oak Hill Hospital each held two board seats. When Tri-State Osteopathic Association, owner of Oak Hill, merged with Freeman in 1996, Freeman insisted it should have four of the six seats.
Dally ruled that equal representation was "consistent with the intent of the original corporate members of JEMS."