ARLINGTON — Rumors that the city of Arlington’s ambulance services had been shut down due to recent layoffs are untrue, according to the city’s mayor and a volunteer employee with North Gilliam Medic.

The false claims the small city in Gilliam County was without ambulance services spread earlier this week, just as Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate went into effect.

Mayor Jeff Bufton said the rumors were just rumors. He said the ambulance services have “a full crew” of dedicated volunteers.

The rumors sparked a meeting Thursday, Oct. 21, where emergency medical staff made clear they were there to serve the community, Bufton said.

Bufton said the false claims began due to "personnel issues" within the county’s health district board. He confirmed the county's health board had laid off a local administrator, which kickstarted the rumors.

He said the ordeal had nothing to do with the state's vaccine mandate.

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Reporter primarily covering government and public safety in Umatilla and Morrow County.

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