> News > Local News > February 2018 > Adams County board picks AMR to be sole ambulance provider
Bookmark this page!  
Latest News


Adams County board picks AMR to be sole ambulance provider
from Staff Reports - NEWS
March 1, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Adams County supervisors Wednesday selected AMR to be the community’s sole provider of emergency ambulance service to ensure quicker response time and better medical care of people in distress.

This will replace the current arrangement of two ambulance companies – AMR and Metro -- serving Natchez and Adams County on a rotating basis for emergency calls.

In voting to give AMR the exclusive franchise, the Board of Supervisors is reacting to complaints about local ambulances taking too long to respond. The board will now adopt a countywide ordinance aimed at getting AMR contractually bound to provide adequate service and be held accountable if it doesn’t adhere to strict standards.

“If you have one provider, you can put their feet to the fire,” said Adams County Emergency Management Director Brad Bradford.

AMR pledged that it’ll take at most 10 minutes to drive to someone medically distressed inside Natchez and 20 minutes out in the county 85 percent of the time. It’ll have three fully-staffed ambulances always ready for emergency runs.

“We’re putting our best feet forward to show you what we can do tomorrow,” AMR manager Tim Houghton told the board.
AMR’s commitment beat out the other two submitted by Metro Ambulance Service and Rural Rapid Response.

Metro and RRR -- locally-owned ambulance services – could not outdo American Medical Response, the Colorado-based corporation that serves most of the United States and has a Natchez branch.

County supervisors voted 3-2 to go with AMR. Board President Calvin Butler joined supervisors David Carter and Mike Lazarus in the majority.

“We need one provider to make sure they’re held accountable,” said Butler, whose vote was a change of mind from 2016, when he and two other supervisors were against a sole ambulance provider.

Supervisors Ricky Gray and Angela Hutchins on Wednesday held to their previous votes of being against making AMR the county’s exclusive emergency ambulance provider.

Carter said AMR convincingly showed it can be quicker in picking up people, has the best medical personnel and equipment to transport them to the hospital and will be accountable to the board in showing its performance record. However, Hutchins said she’s received complaints about AMR, and she expressed concerns about its dispatchers being located in Gulfport rather than Natchez.

The county board opted for an initial six-month deal with AMR to see how well it does. AMR had proposed the exclusive contract to be through 2020.

With AMR and Metro rotating turns in responding to emergency calls, Adams County has been unlike most Mississippi counties, which have just one ambulance service. For example, neighboring Franklin County just uses Rapid Rural Response.

With AMR doing emergencies, Metro and RRR can still continue here making nonemergency runs, such as nursing-home transfers.

The Natchez-Adams County E-911 dispatch center averages about seven calls a day for an ambulance, according to information provided to the county board, and frequently gets back-to-back calls within an hour.

There’s also one helicopter ambulance service – Air Evac – with a branch in Adams County. Its Texas-based parent company is in the process of merging with AMR.

AMR – which locally employs 52 people -- is offering Adams County residents subscriptions to help with out-of-pocket expenses for ground ambulance service. For example, a household could pay about $50 a year to receive discounts. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | EEO | Contact Us