Knoxville, TN (WOKI / WVLT) Knox County has awarded a new ambulance contract to American Medical Response, also known as AMR.
The move comes weeks after an emergency operations center opened after no AMR ambulances were available.
Our news partner WVLT Thursday reporting that city and county leaders have discussed what needs to be fixed and that the new contract includes a number of changes, one of which addresses hospital wait times for ambulances specifically.
WVLT reached out to Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs who provided a statement on the deal which reads, in part:
“We all know that there have been some significant issues with healthcare and ambulance services – not only here but across the country,” Jacobs said. “Though this new contract and its significant updates won’t immediately fix all the problems, we feel like it will be a big step forward.”
Though the contract has been awarded to AMR, the deal must still go before county commissioners in November for final approval. The new contract is set for five years, with an optional five-year renewal period following, for a total of 10 years.
AMR also released a statement, commending the county for creating a new contract that, according to AMR, will make it easier to serve Knox County.
Knox County ran a fair and focused process and we are thrilled to win the competitive process and be able to continue our long standing service to the citizens here,
The new and much different contract will help address many of the problems plaguing the EMS industry nationwide and we salute the County for taking a different approach.
We will now get to work alongside our other local community first responders and hospital partners across the City and County to align on new EMS programs and innovations under the new proposal and agreement.
This contract will represent a new and exciting time for EMS services in Knox County and we are thrilled to be a part of it. We are excited for all of our current and future first responder employees to be part of this new innovative EMS system for other communities to follow – AMR
Three other companies also threw their hats in the ring for Knox County’s contract, the details of which have not been released. Of those three, Priority scored the second-best in a county review prior to awarding the contract, behind AMR.