Common Council Grants Rural Metro Temporary Contract Extension

February 18, 2014 Updated Feb 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM EDT

By Hannah Buehler

February 18, 2014 Updated Feb 18, 2014 at 7:37 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW)- Rural Metro has been the city of Buffalo’s only ambulance provider for eight years. Last month, the city requested proposals from other companies.

Today, the Buffalo Common Council voted to extend Rural Metro’s contract (which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars) another four months.

“It’s been a great partnership over the last eight years,” said Jay Smith, Rural Metro Regional Director. “We’re proud of the service we have provided to Buffalo, and hope to continue for many years to come.”

“Not to extend the contract would have left the city of Buffalo uncovered with services,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen. “If we don’t extend the current contract, it would mean we do not have an ambulance service in the city, and that’s a no-brainer.”

Just because the city approved the request for extension does not mean that they are sticking with Rural Metro for the long haul. One company who submitted a proposal to the city, American Medical Response is hopeful to move in.

“I think it’s clear from the request for proposal that the city of Buffalo issued that it’s really looking to tighten up the performance standards in it’s ambulance service, both in on-time performance and reliability,” said Thomas Maxian, AMR General Manager for New York and Ohio.

Rural Metro employees and supporters attended the council meeting, and thanked the council for expanding their contract.

The city is expected to continue carefully looking at all submitted proposals in the coming months.

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