Matt Myers of Knox County Purchasing moved several boxes of EMS bids Thursday afternoon
Three ambulance companies interested in become Knox County's next EMS service submitted their bids Thursday afternoon.
The county's Emergency Medical Services contract with Rural/Metro expires July 2013.
Rural/Metro, who has held the contract since 1985, submitted a request for proposal, or "RFP," to continue their service. The company's East Tennessee headquarters is located in Knoxville and they have hundreds of ambulance personnel in the county.
"We feel like we're a part of the community," said Rural/Metro Division General Manager Rob Webb. "With 27 years experience, we certainly feel like we're the best option for the citizens of Knox County."
American Medical Response (AMR) also submitted a bid. The company already provides non-emergency transport in Knox County.
"We've been here for about a year as a company servicing the non-emergency market, and we're excited for the opportunity," said Brad Chase, General Manager for AMR in Tennessee.
AMR has bid for the county EMS contract in the past.
A third company, "Falck USA" is known for its ambulance service internationally. The company is now expanding into the U.S. market.
"We've been around a long time, and have a proven track record and have been providing ambulance services to full countries for many years," said Falck Director of Central U.S. Operations Michael Collins.
The Knox County EMS bidding process has been contentious in previous years, and new rules prohibit companies from lobbying politicians.
The current contract includes a subsidy for the provider currently worth $52,137.68 per month. That subsidy will not be included in the new contract, therefore costing the taxpayers nothing.
The Knox County Purchasing Division says a committee should begin reviewing the bids sometime next week. They hope to have the contract before the Knox County Commission by December.