- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber says he is open to more discussions about the city reopening its ambulance service, which was closed 25 years ago.

Yarber tells The Clarion-Ledger (https://on.thec-l.com/1dRE9Xd) that support is coming from Fire Chief R.D. Simpson and some city council members.

Ambulance service was privatized in 1991 when Hinds County signed a contract with Mobile Medic Ambulance Service, which later became American Medical Response, for countywide ambulance service.

AMR spokesman Jim Pollard said Jackson signed an agreement with Hinds County in 1990, giving the county control of providing ambulance service. He said Jackson doesn’t pay any fees directly to AMR.

AMR’s original contract with Hinds County called for the county to pay $119,000 a year to the ambulance service. The amount was subsequently reduced to $100,000. Last year, the Hinds County asked various groups with county contracts to reduce them by 20 percent, said Pollard, and AMR reduced its contract by $20,000, meaning the county now pays $80,000 a year.

Pollard said the county qualifies for state grant money for emergency services by providing ambulance service.

“We haven’t heard any complaint about ambulance service in a long time,” Pollard said.

“Our contract with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors requires that an AMR ambulance reach at least 85 percent of 911 scenes in Jackson within eight minutes of our receiving the information needed to respond.”

Before privatization, the city had ambulances operating from fire stations.

AMR operates a flexible system in which ambulances aren’t stationed in specific locations but are parked in a general area waiting for calls, Pollard said.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com



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