Efforts to reach AMR for comment weren’t immediately successful.
READ: Guns, cop badges go missing from Lithonia police, report says
READ: T.I. rails against Houston’s restaurant after actresses’ arrests from bathroom
READ: Boy, 9, tries to save brother from carjacker at QuikTrip, cops say
To ensure emergency service, the DeKalb County fire-rescue agency dispatches its own units initially to most medical calls because the county’s firefighters are all EMTs, and many are paramedics.
AMR’s primary role is to provide emergency transport services, said DeKalb Director of Public Safety Jack Lumpkin.
AMR bills patients — not the county — directly for the service.
“DeKalb Fire Rescue’s primary role is to provide basic life support until an ambulance arrives. Fire Rescue units are usually on the scene within an average of seven and a half minutes,” Lumpkin said.
DeKalb officials, who hired AMR in 2013, have been pushing the company to improve. Under the terms of the contract, which runs out at the end of 2018, DeKalb has charged AMR $1.5 million in penalties for performance issues. But the company hasn’t paid, citing a different reading of the contract.
DeKalb is now planning a bidding process for a new provider and is taking “reasonable steps” to address the issues and avoid legal action with AMR, county officials said.
Long response times by AMR in south Fulton County recently led officials there to also seek another provider. The company is appealing a regional board's decision for Grady EMS to provide ambulance service for that area.
Like DeKalb County News Now on Facebook | Follow on Twitter