Privatizing county ambulance service could mean higher rates

Fremont County has reached a draft agreement with Guardian Flight (Air Medial Resource Group, Inc.) to exclusively take over the county's ground ambulance system, including all facilities and equipment for the next five years. For the exclusive rights, the company will pay the county $250,000 per year. The contract also offers the company the ability to purchase all assets from the county after the initial five-year term. The company will also pay the county $207,000 per year for dispatch services provided by the county's 911 communications center at the Sheriff's Office. Terms of the agreement will be the subject of a public meeting on January 12th. The lease agreement allows for an annual increase of 3 to 5 percent in rates charged by the ambulance service, with approval by the county commission. The new schedule has increased rates from those currently charged, with the highest rate increase for a call for treatment at a scene without transport from $100- $200 up to $500. (See the rate schedule below). Under the lease agreement, Guardian "agrees to operate the ambulance system at current or enhanced levels, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at a minimum of the Advanced Life Support service level." The agreement also calls for the company to employ "sufficient staff included trained paramedics, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and AEMTs (Advanced Emergency Medical Technician) to provide patient care and to operate vehicles and equipment." Of greatest benefit to the general population, Fremont County agrees for each year of the contract to "purchase from Company a county-wide annual Guardian Plus Membership for its citizens at a cost of $3 per person." That would cost the county $122,109 per year. The number of citizens covered is determined by the latest population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. Read the entire contract here . *Feature Photo: Under the lease agreement, Guardian will operate all current Emergency Medical Services Facilities and Equipment. The Riverton ambulance station is shown. (Pitchengine Communities)* *#county10 #news *