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New ambulance contract will end cities’ subsidies
by Joan Durbin
February 20, 2013 11:53 AM | 4834 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell and Mountain Park will soon have a new and improved contract with Rural Metro Ambulance Service to provide service to the citizens of north Fulton County.

According to Roswell Fire Chief Ricky Spencer, who informed the council of the amended contract at last week’s council meeting, the new contract will end the subsidies the cities have paid to the ambulance company since Fulton County stopped subsidizing it in 2004.

That money was meant to compensate the company for services to uninsured patients. Each north Fulton city will see a $132,250 savings next year when the subsidies paid to Rural Metro by the cities come to an end.

Johns Creek is included in the ambulance’s contract coverage area, but the city has not yet ratified the changes.

“We are still in negotiations with Rural Metro on the second phase of our contract,” said City Manager John Kachmar.

“All of the north Fulton Fire Chief’s worked on this project for almost one year to enhance the service level for the citizens of north Fulton County and we are all proud of what we were able to accomplish,” Spencer said.

The ambulance company will put three additional advanced life support ambulances in the 911 System to be available during peak hours and use general transport ambulances to augment the coverage.

The response time for emergency calls for Rural Metro is now 12 minutes and 15 minutes for non-emergency calls. Spencer said Roswell emergency personnel arrive at a scene within six to eight minutes and are trained to handle the medical issues for patients while awaiting ambulance transport.

Alpharetta passed the agreement 7-0 at its City Council meeting Monday night.

“We’ve had superb service with Rural Metro,” Alpharetta Public Safety Director Gary George said. “They have never been late for us.”

Rural Metro will assume all of the dispatching duties for their ambulances in north Fulton County from their headquarters located in Roswell. The company will install mobile data terminals in all north Fulton Ambulances. Spencer said this will allow them to receive the calls for service more quickly through electronic means of rather than a phone call.

The company also will install a switch in their 911 system to automatically hook up the public service answering points at Roswell, Alpharetta and Chattcom for quicker and more reliable transfer of data.

Patients who are transported to medical facilities will still be billed for the service that Rural Metro provides.

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