At a special call meeting May 16, Pike approved a five-year contract with AmeriPro EMS by a 4-1 vote with commissioner James Jenkins in opposition.The county will pay $68,500 per month and $822,000 per year and the cost will be re-evaluated in six months based on call volume.
Pike signed a contract with Veterans EMS in September 2020 and the bid was $400,000 for a three-year contract. During recent negotiations, the county did not agree to additional costs requested and service was terminated by Veterans with a month’s notice.
AmeriPro EMS provides emergency services for Lamar and Upson counties and AmeriPro executive vice president and co-founder said the supply chain is a struggle for everyone in EMS right now but AmeriPro had an opportunity to order a lot of units at the same time and they have 30 units coming. He said personnel is a challenge as well and having ambulances move between Pike, Lamar and Upson helps provide the needed services.
County Attorney Rob Morton asked Larry Richardson for clarification, if AmeriPro is chosen as ambulance provider in Pike County is it like a six- month probationary period to get the accurate information before putting a set figure on it. Mr. Richardson replied no that is not a probationary thing, that this is the figure right now and in six months they would come back and look at the data. The figure could be less or more after the six months. County Attorney Rob Morton said if commissioners determine that there is an emergency now and they do something with AmeriPro now, does AmeriPro have a figure as of today.
Larry Richardson replied $68,500 per month and re-evaluate in six months, that would be $822,000 per year. The agreement that AmeriPro has with Lamar and Upson is a three-year contract with a 5% annual increase and with a five-year contract it is a 3% annual increase.
Richardson said Lamar County pays $800,000 due to a higher transport volume. He said he it is in the contract that if AmeriPro does not adhere to the performance, they get fined. Chairman Johnson asked what the average response time was in Lamar. Richardson said the way the contract is written in Upson and Lamar, they have to arrive less than 8 minutes 59 seconds within the city limits of the municipalities with the highest call volume. Three miles outside the city limits they have to arrive in 12 minutes. Commissioner Guy asked if there was a way AmeriPro could look at $800,000 for Pike County. Richardson replied he cannot because that would be extremely challenging and $822,0000 would be equitable sharing between all three counties. Upson and Lamar have to go back to their board of commissioners for approval for mutual aid agreement to include Pike County.
County attorney Rob Morton asked about termination language in the automatic annual renewal notice. Richardson replied he believes it is a 90-day notice for termination. Commissioner Tim Daniel asked if AmeriPro service would take effect on or no later than June 11, 2022. Richardson said if the current provider vacates before June 10, AmeriPro EMS will be available so citizens do not go without service.
County Manager Brandon Rogers stated a lot of this is pending on if Upson and Lamar counties allow Pike County to be a part of the regional system and he asked what happens if they do not accept Pike County?
Richardson stated that bridge will be crossed when we get there but he does not think that will be an issue with everyone paying their equitable share.