Anderson County Council today approved a new contract with Medshore Ambulance to provide ambulance service to all areas of the county following a competitive bid process. The new five-year agreement preserves the current level of advanced life support resources, creates efficiencies, improves accountability and enhances quality through a more collaborative public-private partnership.
“This new contract comes after a months-long, extensive planning process on how to best improve the EMS system in Anderson County,” said Anderson County Deputy Director Don McCown “The county designed the new EMS system to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Our No. 1 priority is for each Anderson County resident to receive the right level of care at the right time. The new plan preserves the same level of paramedic coverage throughout the county as previously been staffed and will nearly double the total number of EMS resources.”
Beginning September 1, Medshore Ambulance will expand its fleet to 17 basic life support ambulances deployed throughout the county. Each ambulance will be staffed with two Medshore licensed emergency medical technicians (EMTs). Paramedics employed by Anderson County will staff 14 quick response SUVs strategically placed within the county with advanced life support equipment to upgrade ambulances when a higher level of care is needed. At least one BLS ambulance and one paramedic QRV will be stationed 24 hours per day in each of the county’s previous geographic response areas. The most populated areas of the county will have more ambulances to match the increased call demand, including the City of Anderson and the northeast county.
“The tiered EMS system with contractor BLS ambulances and county ALS QRVs is already successfully operating within the City of Anderson. A single ambulance provider partner and county paramedic staffing promotes equity, strengthens accountability and increases the county’s control of patient care. The new EMS systems ensures that every citizen in every part of Anderson County has access to the same high quality EMS response,” said McCown.
Dispatchers in the Anderson County 9-1-1 Center conduct a thorough assessment of emergency calls based on the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS), a universal standard of call taking, in order to select the appropriate EMS resources. Once triaged according to national standards, most 9-1-1 calls can be appropriately handled by a basic life support ambulance – which frees up paramedics to be available to respond to the higher acuity calls. Additionally, when more advanced care is needed, high acuity patients now will be cared for by a total of three licensed EMS providers – the county paramedic and a Medshore EMT in the back of the ambulance with a second Medshore EMT as a driver.
“Anderson County conducted a thorough, competitive RFP process that detailed the county’s goals and vision for the future of the county’s EMS system,” said Medshore Ambulance President Greg Shore. “The scope of work in the RFP showed a desire for the county to be an even more central and active participant in emergency patient care – a collaborative approach that look forward to being a part of. Medshore Ambulance has served the Anderson County community for more than 45 years. We are profoundly appreciative of the trust placed in us to continue to serve our neighbors, friends and families.”
Medshore Ambulance and Anderson County have committed to offer positions to all qualified EMTs and paramedics currently working in the county. To further ease the transition, Medshore Ambulance will recognize years of service within the county as it relates to wage scale and benefits for EMTs who transition to Medshore on September 1.
“With a decades-long history of serving side-by-side, we are committed to working together with the county and the current county EMS providers for a smooth transition with as many local EMTs and paramedics as possible continuing to serve Anderson County,” said Shore.
At the July 6 meeting, the Anderson County Public Safety Committee provided a recommendation for award of the contract to the Anderson County Council. The county received and reviewed nine proposals submitted in response to the county’s request for proposals.
Headquartered in Anderson, Medshore Ambulance Service is the largest privately owned ambulance service in South Carolina and has provided medical transport services for more than 45 years. Medshore Ambulance has provided 9-1-1 response to the zone encompassing the city of Anderson for more than 30 years. In 2015, Medshore Ambulance began serving the Williamston zone in an emergency situation when a current provider was unable to continue services and successfully transitioned the majority of the community’s incumbent workforce into long-term Medshore employees.
Medshore also is the emergency 9-1-1 provider to Barnwell and Bamberg counties. Medshore is the only ambulance service provider in South Carolina to achieve accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS), the industry’s national gold standard of operational excellence, and has maintained that accreditation for 20 years. Medshore is a member of the Priority Ambulance national family of companies.