In a special called meeting Monday, the Loudon County Commission voted unanimously to accept the proposal of Priority Ambulance as the new emergency ambulance service provider for the county.
Commissioner Van Shaver said the commission voted 9-to-0 to accept the proposal. He said Rural/Metro Ambulance Service did not reapply.
Last month Rural/Metro asked the commission to let it out of its contract by Dec. 31, which was supposed to expire Dec. 31, 2015.
Dennis Rowe, Priority’s director of Operations for East Tennessee, said his company responded to the request for proposals along with one other company.
The county and Priority still have to discuss, write and finalize a new contract.
Shaver said that among the issues to be discussed in the contract will be a “dispatch fee” that Priority would pay to the county for every call dispatched through the E-911 system. He said Priority also offered to do jail calls and coroner calls at no charge.
Rowe said that Priority is already staffing to the terms of the proposal which keeps at least four ambulances in the county at the same time. The company is conducting a demand analysis to learn more about load factors in at different days and times in different parts of the county.
The ambulance services contracted by the county are in addition to the contracts Priority has signed with the city of Loudon and Lenoir City.
Rowe said the combination of the county contract with the city contracts significantly increases the total number of ambulance units available county wide.
“We’re going to be well covered,” Shaver said.
The county may in the future look to work with the cities to consolidate all the contracts with Priority.