Instead of advertising for its own ambulance service, Mayor Billy Hewes said the city has decided to remain part of a countywide contract with American Medical Response.
Hewes had set in motion plans for a separate ambulance service for the city unless the Harrison County Board of Supervisors agreed to solicit competitive proposals. When he met with supervisors Monday, they told him they are satisfied with AMR and residents seem to be, too.
The county solicited proposals for ambulance service in 2012. AMR came out on top and was offered a four-year contract with a four-year extension. In 2015, the county decided on a one-year extension instead so newly elected leaders would have time to review the contract. On Monday, supervisors extended the contract for the final three years.
Hewes said he was glad he met with supervisors. He said his proposal for competition was not about AMR’s performance or getting out of the countywide agreement for ambulance service. He just wants to make sure “open-market competition” is part of the process.
Hewes was reassured to hear the ambulance service will be opened to competition when the contract expires in 2019. Also, he said, ambulance service is a big investment for the company, which AMR representatives detailed at the meeting.