Massachusetts Ambulance Company Closes

Call volume was less than half of what had expected


 
 

TREVOR JONES, Berkshire Eagle Staff | | Thursday, September 23, 2010


PITTSFIELD - Central Berkshire Ambulance, one of two ambulance companies operating in the city, ended its operations on Wednesday night, leaving its 25 employees jobless.

Central Berkshire Ambulance opened in July 2008 after organizers decided there was an adequate need for a provider to fill the void left by the closing of American Medical Response in 2007. Administrators invested more than $800,000 in equipment improvements since then, but with a lack of call volume and an inability to land a potential 911 responder contract with the city, the decision was made to close, according to Jim Regan, the company s general manager.

Informal Support

Regan said informal surveys of local health care providers and city officials done in advance of Central Berkshire Ambulance s opening showed overwhelming support for a second company to compete with the city s existing provider, County Ambulance.

But Regan, who had more than a dozen years of experience operating ambulance companies, said the call volume was less than half of what had expected, leading to a revenue shortage that made operations untenable.

Regan blamed Berkshire Medical Center for the lack of business, saying the health care provider showed "absolutely no support" for the operation.

"We were virtually locked out of BMC," said Regan. "I d never seen anything like that in my life."

BMC Disputes Claims

Michael Leary, a BMC spokesman, disputed those claims. The hospital, Leary said, has nothing to do with emergency dispatches for ambulance services, while clinical staff at BMC have invited all local ambulance companies to present what services they provide.

"We certainly don t have any stipulated ambulance services here at BMC," Leary said.

Regan also placed blame on the city s Ambulance Review Committee, which has been considering whether there should be one or two providers for the city and recently chose to have an open-bid process.

Central Berkshire Ambulance was the third choice in that process, behind County Ambulance and Wilmington-based Action Ambulance.

Regan called the decision to leave the door open to outside providers, as well as the year and a half that has been spent making a decision, "ridiculous." The cost of continuing to pursue the city contract, he added, was the final step in the decision to close the business.

Mayor James M. Ruberto did not comment on Regan s judgment of the committee, but said there is no timeline on any decision, and any decision will be based on the results of the bid process.

"We are in the process and we ll have more conversation on if we should have one or two providers," said Ruberto. "And if we do [choose two], clearly it will be the two with the highest grades for quality, care and experience."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, finances, contract, politics

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

The Evolution of Civilian High Threat Medical Guidelines

How mass killing events have proven a need for new guidelines.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting, EMS Audio

Edited audio from the Parliament Hill incident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Illinois Ambulance Service on Chopping Block

Peoria Heights EMS depends on property tax vote.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters, Medics Drill for Ebola

Lexington firefighters and medics prepare for possible patients.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Mid-South EMTs Prepare for Ebola

Mid-South EMTs are certified for service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Shooting Incident

Solider is shot by gunman at national memorial in Ottawa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Life Link III Trauma Tactics Conference in Minnesota

Conference was designed to enhance the skills of providers of all levels, covering rescue and prehospital situations, to transport and in-hospital treatment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

EMS Tailgating

Rigs converted for football.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >