Category Archives: Emergency.Services

Prompt Ambulance response time eyed in Griffith crash

Source: Sarah Reese, NWI Times, May 13, 2016

Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance said Wednesday he’s requested a meeting with Prompt Ambulance officials to find out why it took an ambulance about 10 minutes to arrive at the scene of a serious crash earlier this week. … The Lake County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the crash investigation, but a complete report had not yet been completed Wednesday, spokesman Mark Back said. Mance said the ambulance company appears to be responsible for the delay, not Lake County’s E-911 dispatch center. … Brian Hitchcock, county E-911 director, said Wednesday the call for the crash in the 500 block of East 45th Avenue was received at 3:48:37 p.m. by a call center dispatcher. The dispatcher called Prompt at 3:49:52 p.m. Prompt reported back to E-911 at 3:52 p.m. that it had an ambulance en route from Highland and again at 3:53 p.m. that two ambulances were en route from both Highland and Munster. Hitchcock said Prompt reported to E-911 that its first ambulance arrived at the crash scene at 3:59 p.m. … Griffith contracts solely with Prompt for ambulance service. The town could have requested mutual aid from ambulance crews in neighboring communities, but Prompt didn’t give Griffith officers an exact time of arrival or any alternatives during communications via the dispatch center, he said. … The town has had a long relationship with Prompt Ambulance, and average response times have ranged from 3 to 4 minutes, he said. …

Prompt Ambulance employees vote to unionize

Source: Giles Bruce, NWI Times, May 13, 2016

Employees of Prompt Ambulance Service voted this week 140-32 in favor of unionizing. The bargaining unit, which joins the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics, will include 220 ambulance drivers, paramedics and emergency medical technicians. Prompt, based in Highland, is the Region’s largest private ambulance provider. … Murchek said union membership has been on the rise in Indiana, in what he called a backlash to the governor and Legislature’s anti-labor push. Prompt CEO Gary Miller said he doesn’t foresee any major changes taking place at Prompt as a result of the vote, particularly because the other IAEP contracts he’s seen are in line with what the company already offers. … IAEP recently filed three complaints of unfair labor practices against Prompt for alleged anti-union tactics. In addition, Prompt is currently in private mediation with three former employees who sued it last year over unpaid overtime pay.

El Cajon, ambulance company make deal

Source: Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, May 4, 2016

El Cajon is contracting out more of its paramedic services with a private company. The City Council unanimously agreed last week to an expanded deal for five years with American Medical Response Ambulance Service Inc. for transporting patients to hospitals. As part of the contract, AMR will pay the city nearly $1.5 million over five years. The city also anticipates overall savings based on a decrease in personnel costs, capital costs, such as fuel, and for vehicle upkeep. … AMR will pay the city $232,265 the first year, $245,992 in year two, $263,100 in year three, $289,464 in year four, $312,818 in year five. … AMR will be responsible for collecting the fees from people it transports. El Cajon will gradually be able to reduce the overall number of firefighter positions once AMR is fully staffing medical transport services, he said. No firefighter/paramedic will lose his job, Williford said, as positions will only be lost through attrition.

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El Cajon contracting out some paramedic services
Source: Karen Pearlman, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 22, 2015

El Cajon is contracting out some of its paramedic services on an interim basis with a private company. The City Council on Tuesday agreed to a deal with American Medical Response Ambulance Service, Inc. for advance life support services. AMR will equip and staff one ambulance to replace one city paramedic ambulance that is now staffed by city personnel working overtime. The city is also leaving open for negotiation a longer-term agreement with AMR. For now, the contract between AMR and the city will be month-to-month. …

Falck eyes job rewards program as it grows in Aurora

Source: Rachel Sapin, Aurora Sentinel, April 27, 2016

Nearly a year after the Dutch-based Falck Corporation of America won a contract to replace longtime ambulance provider Rural/Metro, Aurora’s new private ambulance transportation services company is looking to expand with the help of a city-funded job rewards program. If accepted, Falck’s Rocky Mountain branch would receive up to $5,000 per job it creates per year, with that money coming from city use tax, city property tax and occupational privilege taxes. It would also be the first city contractor to qualify for the program, according to city officials. … Falck competed with American Medical Response of Colorado, Inc., and Rural/Metro for the city’s ambulance service provider contract last year in a process that evaluated the companies based on their monetary reimbursement package, scope of work, credentials,  clinical standards and financial position. Falck received the most points in every category and also promised the largest reimbursement to the city for providing dispatch services and 911 ride-in fees at nearly $1.7 million, according to city documents. …

Rochester officials put ambulance privatization inquiry on ice

Source: Michael DeCicco, South Coast Today, April 28, 2016

Members of the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services staff crowded the selectmen’s meeting room to oppose a plan to investigate privatizing the town’s medical response services through an outside company. Selectmen agreed by a 2-1 vote to indefinitely table action on such a plan after Fire Chief Scott Weigel argued that privatizing the town’s emergency medical services would be costly to the town and might lack the quality of service the department currently provides. … He said since the town agreed to switching to ADL services, there has been a deficit between the expenses it has incurred and the revenues it has recovered. The town pays salaries and for equipment, expenses that should covered through insurance collections and other billing. However, he said, the town’s net cost for EMS services in FY 2014 was $95,000; while in FY 2015 its pricetag was $201,000. Several weeks ago, he proposed investigating the cost of privatizing, sparked by information from Town Administrator Michael McCue that the town of Wenham uses a private ambulance service that in part recovers all insurance reimbursements on its own.

Rochester Selectmen debate merits of in-house ambulance service

Source: Georgia Sparling, Sippican Week, April 19, 2016

Selectman Rich Nunes is concerned that the town’s ambulance service is too expensive, and on Tuesday night he suggested looking into a private service. Nunes cited net costs to the town as about $200,000 for fiscal year 2015 compared to about half of that in fiscal year 2014. He has already sent a letter to STAT Dartmouth, a private ambulance company, that said it is looking to expand its services. … He also questioned the number of people who respond to an incident, saying three or four people shouldn’t respond to every accident. Selectmen Brad Morse, however, said Nunes was reading the financial numbers incorrectly and that it was inappropriate to have the conversation without Fire and EMS Chief Scott Weigel present. Morse, who has worked as an on-call firefighter, said he has seen towns switch from in-house to privatized ambulance services with negative results. …

Concerns voiced about possible ambulance merger

Source: Amy Hudak, WHAM, April 21, 2016

Emergency professionals said the merger is the best option for each community. Chief Bill Arnold of Chili EMS told 13WHAM, “It would make an outstanding service, to get the closest ambulance to the patient as soon as possible.” The ambulance companies said taxpayer dollars won’t change, but those who live in the three towns are skeptical. An informational meeting on the proposed merger was held Thursday night, during which some taxpayers said they are not being told how much more they might be paying if they have an emergency. … Ambulance companies said they are not sure if and by how much rates will change when a 911 call is made. Chili’s town supervisor reassuring his town he will only sign the best contract for the people. … Under this proposal, all emergency professionals would have the same training out of Henrietta, and nobody would be able to work more than 16 hours per day. If passed, the proposal would go into effect in 2017.

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Three Ambulance Services in Monroe County Planning To Merge
Source: Tara Grimes, Time Warner Cable News, March 17, 2016

All across the country, emergency medical services, especially those with volunteers, are thinking of merging or have merged. Ambulance services in Henrietta, Chili, and Scottsville now say they are jumping on board with that idea. … Allen said none of the three agencies are in financial distress and each are operated well, but by coming together as one, he said it will improve response times, boost buying power of supplies, improve their ability to attract volunteers, reduce overhead costs, and help with community outreach. While they say staffing will stay the same, they may be able to reduce the number of ambulances needed. … The agencies said they will also be able to better strategically place their vehicles based on areas of need and unlike before, when they would have to call commercial ambulances in for help, they will be able to cover for each other if needed instead.

Greater New Haven paramedics, EMTs rally over contract, claims over working conditions

Source: Ryan Flynn, New Haven Register, April 19, 2016

New Haven-based American Medical Response employees rallied on the Green Tuesday afternoon in the hopes that AMR will address safety concerns that first responders say affect them and the patients they serve. … IAEP union, Local 999, held the rally and listed the following claims: potentially hazardous working conditions at AMR stations; staffing issues that lead to paramedics and EMTs working extra-long shifts without warning; and complaints of an operations manager who is now often out of state, after his job was expanded to a regional role. … AMR Regional Director Chuck Babson said in a statement that the rally is taking place in the context of a union contract negotiation. Babson wrote that twice in recent months, AMR and union officials have agreed on “generous” pay and benefit packages but were rejected by union members. They will continue to negotiate in the hopes of reaching an agreement soon, he wrote. … Michael Montanaro, president of Local 999 and 21-year veteran, said contract negotiations with AMR have hit a stalemate and the longer hours have “overwhelmed” local first responders. AMR first responders handle a high call volume, he said, responding to between 85,000 and 100,000 calls each year.

Cash-poor ambulance authority votes to start shopping for outside service

Source: Stephen Kloosterman, MLive, April 20, 2016

The cash-strapped White Lake Ambulance Authority unanimously voted to start shopping for outside providers of ambulance service at a special meeting Monday, April 18. The authority collects a 1-mill property tax and provides ambulance services to about 12,000 people in northwest Muskegon County. The ambulance authority now has its own ambulances and staff, but for more than a year has struggled to operate in the black while paying down substantial debts it accumulated over a longer period of time. … Whalen said Whitehall was talking to Life EMS of Grand Rapids about providing service, and he invited representatives of the other municipalities to join negotiations. …

EDITORIAL: Ambulance saga still has some life

Source: Press-Enterprise, April 8, 2016

Riverside’s ambulance saga continues. On Tuesday, the Riverside City Council voted to suspend franchise agreements allowing Cavalry Ambulance and AmeriCare Ambulance to operate in the city. In doing so, the council majority rejected an opportunity to be reasonable. For decades, Riverside residents in need of nonemergency ambulance transport were limited to one provider, American Medical Response. This monopolization never made any sense, and not only limited the choices available to health providers, but kept prices needlessly high. So it was certainly welcome when the city joined the rest of the county last year as the council realized that competition was actually a good thing. …

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RIVERSIDE: City suspends two ambulance companies
Source: Alicia Robinson, Press Enterprise, April 5, 2016

Riverside has temporarily barred two ambulance companies from picking up patients in the city after they failed to meet its requirements. The City Council voted Tuesday, April 5, to suspend franchise agreements with Cavalry Ambulance and AmeriCare Ambulance. The companies are among a half dozen the city had allowed run prescheduled, nonemergency calls in Riverside. American Medical Response, or AMR, handles 911 calls through a contract with the county. … Cavalry failed to meet a deadline this month for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, an independent industry group, city officials said. AmeriCare, which received a city franchise in 2015 but had not begun running calls, had its operating permit from Riverside County suspended. The city requires ambulance companies to have a valid county permit.