Concerns raised over possible ambulance service contract with Colorado Springs

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The City of Colorado Springs is in negotiations to hire a new ambulance service. As a precaution the deal would include a bond in case the chosen ambulance company were to go under, but if that happens, how long would the money and the EMS coverage in Colorado Springs last? 

Currently, Priority Ambulance, a four-year-old company, has been selected to negotiate a contract with the city. 

When KRDO NewsChannel 13 dug deeper into their executive board, we learned two of its members had two separate ambulance companies file bankruptcy under their watch. 

Priority Ambulance's Director of Marketing and Communications, Amanda Shell Jennings told KRDO NewsChannel 13's Colleen Sikora that in both of those cases the managers were hired as "turnaround specialists" 

"There were significant financial and management issues that pre-dated them," Jennings said. 

Adding Priority Ambulance is a "well-managed, well-financed company"

"And is well equipped to serve the needs of the City of Colorado Springs," Jennings said. 

Following the interview, Jennings called KRDO NewsChannel 13's Colleen Sikora back to mention the City of Colorado Springs has a $3 million bond built in case priority were to default. 

But how far would $3 million dollars go running ambulance service for the city?

AMR, who's been providing ambulance service to the city since 1979, currently has 38 ambulances in Colorado Springs. 

"We're a proven company we're a proven leader. I'm not sure that you want to change what you have to go into risky business with leaders who have a track record of filing bankruptcies and leaving communities," Scott Lenn, Regional Director with AMR said.

AMR said at most it takes them $675,000 annually to run one ambulance. Broken down, it's about $13,000 a week to run one ambulance. 

Meaning it would take about $500,000 a week to run the 38 ambulances in the city. 

Which would mean the $3 million dollar bond would only cover 38 ambulances for about a month and a half, that's if any company selected by the city were to go under. 

Priority Ambulance is continuing negotiations with the city as they are the highest scored company by the city's bidding process. 

AMR did bid but was not the highest scoring bid. 

According to the City of Colorado Springs' request for proposal (RFP), a contract is estimated to be awarded in June of 2018, with service changing hands at the start of 2019. 


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