In a specially called meeting Monday, Loudon County Commission unanimously recommended Priority Ambulance as the exclusive emergency and nonemergency ambulance services provider to Loudon County pending contract approval.
“Our number one priority is to make sure Loudon County residents have a high level of emergency service,” Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw said. “We were impressed with Priority Ambulance’s staff and capabilities. Based on the quality of their proposal and the service already provided to Loudon County, we are convinced Priority Ambulance is equipped to deliver the top quality emergency coverage that we require.”
Priority Ambulance’s proposal was evaluated by the purchasing and budget committees before being accepted by the County Commission. Loudon County and Priority Ambulance will negotiate details of a contract that will be voted on by commission at its regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 5, 2015.
In April 2014, the cities of Lenoir City and Loudon selected Priority Ambulance as the exclusive emergency and nonemergency services provider. Additionally, Priority Ambulance has been providing mutual aid response for emergency calls within Loudon County since July.
“Priority Ambulance is already heavily invested in Loudon County,” said Dennis Rowe, director of operations in East Tennessee for Priority. “Priority Ambulance has placed the latest emergency technology, state-of-the-art ambulances and, most importantly, talented, caring EMTs and paramedics in Loudon County. Additionally, many of our EMTs and paramedics have years of experience serving Loudon County. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue providing excellent care for our families, friends and neighbors.”
After the initial six-month contract period, Priority Ambulance will sign a five-year agreement with the county to correspond with the contracts with the cities of Loudon and Lenoir City.
Priority Ambulance has committed four new, state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz advanced life support (ALS) ambulances, as well as a four-wheel drive critical care ambulance for emergency and inter-facility transports. Three ALS ambulances will be staffed around-the-clock, and one ALS ambulance will be staffed 12 hours a day during peak hours.
As part of its agreement, Priority Ambulance also will continue to provide free standby service for sporting events, festivals, parades and other community events; host free CPR, first-aid and public safety classes for the community; and purchase and place automated external defibrillators (AED) in government buildings and public spaces.
Priority Ambulance’s Loudon County management team members are lifelong residents of the county with decades of experience managing ambulance services in Loudon County and throughout East Tennessee. Rowe has nearly 40 years of experience in emergency medical services in East Tennessee, and Loudon County EMS Director Jennifer Stanley has served Loudon County for more than 16 years.
Loudon County will represent Priority Ambulance’s first countywide emergency ambulance contract in East Tennessee, and Rowe said the company is ready for the expansion, as well as other opportunities in the region.
“Priority Ambulance is the only national ambulance company headquartered in East Tennessee, and our East Tennessee management team has more than 400 years of combined experience managing regional medical transport operations,” Rowe said. “We have an extensive fleet of vehicles, technology and staff at our Knox County headquarters ready to provide mutual aid and additional coverage to Loudon County, as well as to other areas throughout the region.”
About Priority Ambulance:
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Priority Ambulance provides the highest level of clinical excellence in emergency and nonemergency medical care to the communities it serves. Throughout its national service area, more than 500 highly trained paramedics, EMTs and telecommunicators staff state-of-the-art ambulances with the latest medical equipment and technology.
Priority Ambulance provides emergency and nonemergency medical transport options in East Tennessee to Knox, Loudon and Blount counties. Priority Ambulance also operates in Utica, N.Y., as Kunkel Ambulance and Trans Am Ambulance in Olean, N.Y. Operating as Shoals Ambulance in Alabama, the company serves Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties and the greater Birmingham metro area in Alabama. In the Greater Indianapolis area, Priority Ambulance has a signed letter of intent to purchase Seals Ambulance.