A vice president at an ambulance company whose contract DeKalb County canceled this month said he wants the county to audit its 911 response services.
Doug Tisdale, vice president of CARE Ambulance of Montgomery, Ala., said he believes an audit will show CARE fulfilled its contract with the county.
“I think the audit will highlight that CARE performed well and met every standard that we were supposed to meet,” he said.
County Public Safety Director William Miller said the company responded slowly to several incidents, most notably when an ambulance took 22 minutes to reach a soccer field (Adams Stadium) where a 16-year-old player had suffered a concussion last month.
County dispatchers gave the ambulance EMTs the wrong address twice, leading the EMTs to open a laptop computer and look up the address online, a county report stated. Miller said the ambulance should have contacted county dispatchers again for the right address.
The termination, which is effective early next month, will lead to 120 layoffs, Tisdale said. To protect those workers, CARE is considering a lawsuit, he said.
“We’re exploring every avenue available,” Tisdale said.
The county plans to use another company temporarily once its relationship with CARE Ambulance is severed, she said. Then the county will begin its search for another emergency service company.
CARE Ambulance signed a three-year contract with the option for two, year-long extensions with the county in March 2008, Tisdale said. The service does not cost the county because the company only charges the patients who require ambulance service, he said. Though the contract asked CARE to operate five ambulances in the county, Tisdale said his company added four more roughly a year and a half ago.
The contract required the county to give 30 days notice if it chose to sever the agreement, Edwards said.
Tisdale said he isn’t confident he’ll get his audit. Officials in CEO Burrell Ellis’ office have already said they won’t endorse one.
“Going by the input I’ve received, I would say, no, they’re probably not,” Tisdale said.