KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knox County Commission gathered on Thursday to discuss the county’s new emergency services contract.
After awarding American Medical Response or AMR, with a new contract last month, county commissioners came prepared with questions.
“We’ve been with the same provider for 10 years,” Commissioner Larsen Jay said. “They have to prove to us they’re going to do better and the last few years have been really tough. They’ve admitted it, everybody understands it. We’re having a hard time right now with our ambulance service.”
The county’s emergency services has been under scrutiny for quite some time, particularly with ambulance response times. That is one reason why commissioners said that they are pushing for improvements.
“The implementation of a full-time medical director who can bring all of our emergency agencies together,” Commissioner Kim Frazier said. “And we can provide the very best level of emergency services to our constituents.”
First priority response times are currently approximately 20 minutes. Frazier said that is unacceptable as they move into a new contract.
“Really kind of honing in on that response time county-wide for priority one calls, that’s very important to me,” Frazier said.
Commissioners emphasized that they want everybody on the same page to ensure that everything is done the right way.
“There’s too many things to not get right now that we have to make sure that we do properly, not just fast,” Jay said.
The commission is set to officially vote on the contract before the end of the year.