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Adams County board finalizes contract for improving ambulance service
from Staff Reports - NEWS
June 5, 2018 - ListenUpYall.com

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The county Board of Supervisors finally approved a contract Monday with AMR after three months of negotiations for it to be Natchez-Adams County’s exclusive emergency ambulance provider.

The contract bounds AMR to take at most 10 minutes to drive to anyone medically distressed inside Natchez and 20 minutes out in the county 85 percent of the time. The clock starts when city-county dispatchers receive the E-911 phone calls. AMR has three fully-staffed ambulances in Natchez always ready for the emergency runs.

Adams County supervisors in February selected Colorado-based American Medical Response as better than two other local ambulance companies seeking the rights to be the sole provider of emergency medical transit services for the community.

AMR and Metro Miss-Lou Ambulance Service previously took turns picking up people in need, but complaints have escalated in the past couple of years that this shared service was inefficient and slow. The Board of Supervisors decided AMR is the best to ensure quicker response times and better emergency medical care.

AMR regional manager Tim Houghton said Monday that AMR response times in recent weeks have averaged about six minutes within Natchez and nine minutes out in the county – well within the 10-minute and 20-minute limits AMR is committed not to exceed most of the time.

The ambulance deal approved Monday by county supervisors begins with a six-month trial period for AMR to prove it can meet the response-time demands and continue as the county’s ambulance provider. The contract does contain financial penalties and options for AMR to be dropped if it fails to adhere to the obligations. AMR will be penalized about $500 for each percentage point it falls below meeting the response times 85 percent of its total calls in a set period of time, said county board attorney Scott Slover.

There will be no county government subsidy for the ambulance service. AMR is offering Adams County residents subscriptions to help with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance for ground ambulance service. For example, a household could pay about $50 a year to receive discounts.

AMR is a Colorado-based corporation that serves most of the United States and has had a Natchez branch for several years employing 52 people with a fleet of 12 ambulances.

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




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