KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County Commission unanimously approved a new contract for emergency medical services with Rural/Metro Corporation on Monday afternoon.
Rural/Metro, which has provided ambulance service to Knox County for more than 25 years, will continue to handle 911 calls for the county.
The approved contract is for five years, with two five-year optional extensions.
"Unlike in previous years, we were able to remove the politics from the Emergency Services contract process by engaging a professional group of RFP evaluators," Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said in a news release. "Not only will this agreement help protect the safety of our citizens, it will also save taxpayers $600,000 per year in subsidies, and I look forward to signing it."
A seven-member evaluation committee appointed by the Knox County Purchasing Department studied proposals from three ambulance companies and recommended Rural/Metro as its top choice to Knox County Commission.
Competitor American Medical Response (AMR) initially contested the recommendation, saying there was a conflict of interest with some members of the evaluation committee, but later AMR dropped its protest.
"We are grateful for the confidence Knox County Commission and the
citizens of Knox County have placed in us," said Rob Webb, division
general manager of Rural/Metro. "We, as a company, and the men and women
of Rural/Metro individually, are extremely committed to providing the
absolutely best service possible to our neighbors."
Rural/Metro is the only one of the contenders to be accredited in Tennessee by the Commission on Ambulance Accreditation Services.