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New Adams County ambulance arrangement off to good start
from Staff Reports - NEWS
May 8, 2018 -

By John Mott Coffey

NATCHEZ, Miss. – The first week of AMR taking all emergency ambulance calls in Natchez and Adams County shows quicker-than-promised response times, according to a report presented Monday to the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

AMR since May 1 took about seven minutes on average to reach people medically distressed in Natchez and close to nine minutes to those out in the county. This covers 39 calls through Sunday.

“I hope y’all can maintain this,” county Supervisor David Carter told AMR regional manager Tim Houghton, whose company has been given the exclusive rights to respond to E911 emergency calls.

American Medical Response has pledged that it’ll 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. It’ll have three fully-staffed ambulances in Natchez always ready for emergency runs.

AMR and Metro Ambulance Service previously took turns picking up people in need, but complaints mounted that this shared service was inefficient and slow. The Board of Supervisors decided it’s better to have one that would be held accountable to provide quick responses.

While Metro and one other ambulance company bid for this earlier this year, the county board decided AMR is the best to ensure quicker response times and better emergency medical care.

While AMR began last week as the community’s sole emergency ambulance provider, company and county officials haven’t yet inked a final contract. Among the issues to work out are the financial penalties AMR must pay if it doesn’t adhere to contracted response times, said county board attorney Scott Slover.

However, Houghton said a contract is essentially a done deal. “We’re ready to move forward,” he said.

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. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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