Brandon seeking ambulance service - - Jackson, MS

Brandon seeking ambulance service

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Brandon Mayor Butch Lee says he has nothing against AMR, or Rankin County's contact with AMR, which includes Brandon. But he says citizens in Brandon are simply alarmed by the slow response, or in some cases no response, to emergencies. 

"It's a case where sometimes it's taking 30, 40, 45 minutes, an hour to get there. We've had some cases, a distressed mother for instance, with an injured child that will finally give up and make a transport themselves," he said.
The City examined AMR response times for a year. According to the City's records, there were 1,224 responses by AMR within city limits. 655 of those responses were under 10 minutes, which is what the contract calls for. But according to records, the rest were over ten minutes, and in four cases  response time took longer than 50 minutes.

But that's not all. 
"There have been cases where an ambulance did not show up," said Mayor Lee.

The contract also states that AMR doesn't have to respond at all for a certain percentage of the calls. 

Brandon Fire Chief Terry Wages sends fire crews out to render aid immediately when 911 is called. Those responders have to wait with the patient for an ambulance.

"It ties our engines up for longer periods of time, so we're trying to eliminate some of that," said Chief Wages.

Late Friday afternoon, AMR issued the following statement:

"We are surprised by the mayor's statements.  We have received no complaints from the mayor.  Our contract with the Rankin Board of Supervisors contains specific response time requirements.  We have been and are in compliance with those requirements countywide, including Brandon.  We look forward to meeting with the mayor to discuss our service to his city." 

Did I hear this part of the story correctly -- that the Fire Chief said there is a certain percentage of calls to which AMR does not have to respond?  If indeed he made that statement, we respectfully ask that he review the contract again.  There is a provision in the contract titled, Article III, "Service Provider by Provider," Section 3.2, "Accept All Requests."  That section reads:  "Provider will not fail to respond to an emergency call originating within Rankin County, nor fail to render medically necessary emergency assessment, treatment and transport to any patient, for any reason, including the patient's perceived, demonstrated or stated inability to pay for such services, or because of the location of the patient within Rankin County, or because of the unavailable status or location of any ambulance at the time of the request." Accordingly, we respond to any and all emergency calls countywide, including Brandon.  

On Monday night, the Mayor and Board of Alderman will discuss a request for proposal to get an ambulance service specifically for the City of Brandon, and perhaps one other municipality. Mayor Lee says since insurance, and policy holders, cover much of the cost of ambulance service, it shouldn't cost the city much.

"We've just got to do better," he says.

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