County Ambulance Shake-Up Means Big Changes July 1st

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(Germantown) Ambulance services in suburban Shelby County are undergoing some major changes.

Some suburbs being served by Shelby County Fire Departments will have a new company offering their medical emergency service.

Other cities, like Germantown, will start their own.

The city of Germantown says the switch is all about control: control of patient care, control of transportation to the hospital. Officials say that, in the end, citizens will benefit. T

he city already had its own paramedics and EMTs; now, it will have four of its own ambulances. Germantown will now control patient care during an emergency from beginning to end.

Germantown Chief John Selber said, “We're already providing that medical care but now that same paramedic that's treating you will actually be the one that's taking you to the hospital. So, we'll maintain that continuity of patient care all the way to the hospital.”

The city also benefits financially. The transport fee customers paid to private company, Rural Metro, will go into city coffers.

Over on Shelby Oaks Cove, a fleet of the state of the art ambulances are getting ready to roll out July 1st.

AMR, American Medical Response, is the company hired to replace Rural Metro by Shelby County government. AMR will provide emergency services in Millington, Arlington and Lakeland.

The move saves the county money but ambulances will no longer be stationed at fire houses at all times of the day. They’ll be on stand-by.

Critics are waiting to see if the cost-saving system presents problems.

AMR General Manager, Bradford Chase, said, “The ambulances move as the call volume dictates. Rather than have static ambulances parked at fire stations we actually use historical data to rotate ambulances to where they’ll likely need the ambulances and have the calls.”

AMR says the rotation saves money and possibly lives because it will decrease response times.