Ambulance contract sent to commission

Rural Metro Ambulance (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knox County Commission will take up a recommendation from a committee to accept a proposal for Rural Metro Ambulance service to continue operations in Knox County.

For 27 years, Rural Metro has held the contract in Knox County to provide ambulance service. A Committee has reviewed a proposal by Rural Metro and sends it to council with approval.

"We're the only accredited ambulance service in the state, something we're very proud of. Our staff have done an outstanding job serving this community," said Rob Webb with Rural Metro. He says he's thrilled to hopefully give service for another 5 years to Knox County.

Mayor Tim Burchett is also pleased with the recommendation.

"The emergency medical services RFP process was thorough and professional, and I appreciate the hard work of everyone involved, especially the evaluation committee members," said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. "I also want to thank the organizations that submitted proposals, and we all look forward to seeing that Knox County residents continue to receive quality emergency medical services."

The 5 year deal includes more ambulances and a $3.2 million dispatch center upgrade by Rural Metro. Webb says these efforts will help increase response time in the county. He says right now they have a 10 minute response time 91 to 92% of the time. He says the county only requires 90%.

"This gives us the ability to plan and invest and know we're going to be here for a long time. So we're very excited about it," said Webb. "We continue to add ambulances as the community grows, we grow with it."

The contract would go into effect in July 2014.

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