Rural Metro Medical Services wins five year deal with City of Buffalo

June 20, 2014 Updated Jun 20, 2014 at 6:08 PM EDT

By Jim Herr

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June 20, 2014 Updated Jun 20, 2014 at 6:08 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY - Rural Metro Medical Services will be the exclusive ambulance provider for the City of Buffalo for the next five years, a city official confirmed to Eyewitness News Friday morning. 

"Rural/Metro Medical Services is thrilled to hear of the City's recommendation that will allow us to continue our commitment to the citizens of Buffalo. We look forward to executing on the new contractual requirements and credit the hard working and dedicated EMT s and Paramedics who have positioned us well to receive the support of the City of Buffalo officials. We are proud of the service we have been providing and look forward to continuing to enhance EMS in Buffalo," said Jay Smith, Rural-Metro Division General Manager.

Rural-Metro's current contract, which was set to expire on June 30th, was extended by a month Thursday so that both parties can negotiate the new, long term, 5-year contract.  It is expected that Rural-Metro will receive two, one-year contract extensions - allowing Rural-Metro to have exclusive coverage in the city through 2020.

The new agreement requires Rural-Metro to operate 20 ambulances in the city during busy times – up from 14.  Rural-Metro will staff at least 10 ambulances during slower times.  The increase required ambulances appears to have stemmed from recent concerns by Common Council members in regards to Rural-Metro's response times.  The company is taking steps to remedy slower then normal response times. 

“The new contract calls for system enhancements and we have positioned ourselves to exceed expectations and we are excited for the implementation of those standers,” said Smith.
 
It is expected that Rural-Metro and the city will work together to help curb the abuse of the ambulance service by so called “frequent fliers,” patients who use the ambulance service for non-emergency needs.
 
Two other companies submitted bids to the city's request for proposals.  American Medical Response, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado and Community EMS in Southfield, Michigan.