After serving the Town of Gilbert since the 1980’s, Southwest Ambulance is set to be ousted from the town and be replaced by it’s rival American Medical Response (AMR) in what will be a bittersweet move for the IAFF Local I-60. Citing many reasons for moving to AMR, the Fire Chief of Gilbert is scheduled to present the new EMS agreement to the Town Council on Thursday, July 30th, 2015. It is expected that the Town Council will approve the consent agenda item and the the change from Southwest Ambulance to American Medical Response is anticipated to be a quick change-over.
Unfortunately for members of the IAFF Local I-60, this means a direct impact to forty-two (42) of our healthcare professionals (32 in Gilbert, and 10 in Queen Creek to soon follow).
This change is a direct result of Rural Metro’s poor leadership and relationship management with area contracts, including Gilbert. Among the reasons cited by Gilbert’s Fire Chief were: (a) R/M not agreeing to a 3 year term, (b) R/M insisting on termination clauses to be linked to the CON process, (c) R/M only provided for a $500,000 bond, compared to AMR’s $2,000,000 bond, (d) R/M proposed a 90 day “lame duck” period, opposed to AMR’s 180 day period, (e) R/M has only paid $318 of the $110,000 invoiced by Gilbert for medical supplies, and (f) the Administrative Law Judge’s findings during the recent CON hearing.
The Local I-60 leadership will be attending the Gilbert Town Council meeting, and working with AMR in an attempt to secure jobs for those members directly impacted by this change.
A copy of the Chief’s letter to Town Council and a copy of the proposed AMR contract can be downloaded by clicking here (PDF).
While this change is a sad one, it is bittersweet in that the Town of Gilbert continues to see the valuing in partnering with private EMS rather than fire-based EMS.
More details will be sent out as additional information becomes available.