- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The Jackson County Board of Supervisors has decided to invite competition for its ambulance service contract for the first time in 16 years.

Acadian Ambulance has been the only company under contract with the county since 1999, media outlets reported. But on Monday supervisors voted 3-2 to accept proposals from other ambulance services.

Last year, the county spent $180,000 to subsidize the ambulance service.

The decision to consider new bids itself saved the county money, as Acadian Ambulance dropped the subsidy requirement earlier this year, said Supervisor Ken Taylor.

Taylor said he became interested in opening up the bidding process when he saw what he calls conflicts of interest between Acadian Ambulance and members of the EMS Advisory Board that recommends ambulance services to the county. That board voted to keep Acadian and renegotiate.

American Medical Response said it plans to make a pitch for Jackson County’s work.

“Why would you not want to compete a service,” Taylor said. “It’s for the citizens. You get a better job with competition.”

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