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Adams County board reviews ambulance service proposals
from Staff Reports - NEWS
February 6, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – Adams County supervisors are reviewing proposals from three ambulance companies wanting to be the community’s exclusive medical emergency transporter and be required to follow quick response time standards.

This comes amid continuing complaints about local ambulances taking too long when called. The county board received three bids Monday from emergency medical companies on how they can better serve the community. The board will meet again to further discuss the plans from American Medical Response, Metro Ambulance Service and Rural Rapid Response.

This is a replay of what the board did in 2016, when supervisors considered the three ambulance companies’ submissions. However, the board turned down all three bidders’ attempt to be the sole responder for emergency medical calls.

Two companies –– AMR and Metro -- currently rotate picking up people in medical distress. Adams County is one of the few – if not the only Mississippi county – with more than one ambulance service.

However, the board decided in December to reconsider giving the exclusive franchise to one ambulance provider that would be contractually bound to standards for providing improved service.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell recently highlighted the surging complaints about local ambulance service. He said in November it took about 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at his diabetic mother’s house in response to a call for help.

In the proposals submitted to the Board of Supervisors in 2016, AMR said it would take up to 10 minutes to drive to someone medically distressed inside Natchez and 20 minutes out in the county. Miss-Lou (Metro) Ambulance Service set its time at 11 minutes in the city and 16 minutes outside. A third ambulance provider -- Rural Rapid Response – said it could respond 12 minutes inside the city with two minutes added to each mile traveled beyond the city.

If the county had one emergency medical service provider, it would not have to subsidize it if the ambulance company also got the exclusive right to transport patients for nonemergency runs, such as transfers between nursing homes and hospitals. However, county board attorney Scott Slover said the county could not legally contract for an exclusive provider for both emergency and nonemergency services. It could contract to just provide emergency-only service. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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