Proposals wanted for the Youngstown ambulance service |  News, Sports, Jobs

Proposals wanted for the Youngstown ambulance service | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN — With American Medical Response, Youngstown’s ambulance service, looking to negotiate a new contract with a grant, the city is seeking proposals from companies for the job.

But city officials on Thursday sounded unsure that the requests for proposals would spark additional interest alongside AMR.

The city has given companies until October 11 to submit proposals. An AMR official said his company would file one.

“We are waiting to see if there are other entities interested in drafting a proposal,” law director Jeff Limbian told the city council’s security committee on Thursday. “Once that period is over, we’ll look at all those proposals or if there are no other proposals (except AMR), we’ll reassess and re-negotiate whether that’s a possibility with AMR.”

City officials have said in the past that they did not expect other companies to submit proposals for the work currently being done by AMR.

“We’ll see if others want our business,” Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said Thursday. “If not, we would ask the legal department to negotiate some of those issues with (AMR) to come up with the terms of a deal.”

AMR announced on September 14 that it would not renew its contract, which expires on December 31, with the city without a financial grant. AMR officials have told The Vindicator that without an annual subsidy of at least $750,000, the company could be forced to close its Youngstown operations.

AMR’s existing contract does not contain a grant, and an attempt to add one, with the money coming from Youngstown’s American Rescue Plan allocation, was rejected by the city council in April.

AMR officials say a grant is needed because an average ambulance ride costs about $300 and Medicaid reimburses about $130, so AMR is losing money because 54 percent of its calls in the city are for Medicaid recipients.

AMR gave the notice because the current contract would be automatically renewed for another year if it didn’t inform the city at least 90 days before the end of the year that it wants a new deal.

“AMR wants to negotiate,” Brown said. “This is their official way of doing it.”

Brown, who backs the grant, said he understands why city officials don’t want to give financial support to a private organization.

“But we have no other options,” he said.

GRANTS

Edward Powers, AMR’s regional director of operations in the Northeast, said after the meeting that the company will submit a proposal that will include grants.

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