Collier County agrees to hire new ambulance service

Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson

Video from NBC-2

— A private ambulance company gained approval Tuesday to do business in Collier County next January. The deal comes on the heels of an ambulance delay recently at the Marco Island Urgent Care Center which may have contributed to a man’s death.

Commissioners, in a 4-1 vote, gave the county license to Ambitrans Medical Transport, a Charlotte County-based company.

The company provides non-emergency ambulance service elsewhere in Southwest Florida for patients between hospitals and nursing homes.

In Collier, the company has been working with local hospitals when patients need to be taken out of county to other medical centers.

Commissioner Georgia Hiller, who cast the dissenting vote, wanted more information about how Ambitrans’ operates, the training of its paramedics and what the demand level will be for the non-emergency ambulance services. She also raised concerns that the company would be gaining an exclusivity foothold.

“I want to have the full impact of what this means to the county and I don’t see that today,” she said.

County Manager Leo Ochs said the county did not solicit bids for the service; instead the company submitted an application to start providing service between local hospitals. Ochs said he is obligated to bring the application to the board.

Ochs said there are about 1,900 to 2,000 ambulance trips made annually in Collier between hospitals, nursing homes and elsewhere. The rates that Ambitrans can provide patients are lower than what the county offers, Ochs said. Ambitrans will be paid by patients.

Earlier this month, 80-year-old Paul Anderson died at NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, the day after he waited nearly an hour for an NCH-owned ambulance to take him to the hospital from the Marco urgent care center. NCH has been licensed since 2004 to handle its own internal transports.

NCH last week informed the county that it was voluntarily stopping its ambulance program because of what transpired with Anderson.

Michael Grant, chief executive officer of Ambitrans, said his company has been wanting to expand its services in Collier for several year, even before NCH got its license.

The county’s approval to Ambitrans is for one year. Grant said he will hire local state-certified paramedics and will not compete with EMS. He said the company will find a local operations base that is centrally located between NCH and the Physicians Regional Healthcare System.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 15

conspiracy34102 writes:

How interesting how the county commissioners approve a complete bogus application for a class 2 COPCN. What happened, is someone like Ochs or Summers really good friends Mr. Grant.

conspiracy34102 writes:

So, Let me get this straight. The county commissioners approve a Class 2 COPCN without a minimum or maximum amount of Ambulances, without knowing where they are going to be based out of, or without knowing how much they are going to be charging us. Nice Work!!!!!!

Hey didnt North Naples Fire Department go through this process about 6 months ago, and it kept on getting tabled or many restrictions including training requirements put into place before a certificate was issued.

But yet a Politician that is the owner of an ambulance co. comes in applies for the certificate without any publications or announcements and gets it awarded in less than 3 weeks.....WOW!!!!!

Fossil writes:

This is what happens when you start contracting out services. Any business wishing to perform services for the public at public expense should be required to submit a bid and their performance and quality levels should at least be at the same level, or exceed that of the service they hope to replace. This is not a market driven result. When a government goes down this road they eventually suffer a decline in services. Why? Because a private business cannot continue to maintain the same standards and quality of service demanded by regulations without eventually increasing the costs. The only other alternative to increasing costs is to have politicians get rid of the regualtions that eat into their profits. Either way, the public suffers and business gets more of our tax money hiring incompetant people at minimum wages.

GFonda writes:

If one calls 911, what ambulance service/company comes?

conspiracy34102 writes:

in response to GFonda:

If one calls 911, what ambulance service/company comes?

Depends if the County EMS Department can handle the call volume at that specific time that you dial 911. If a big event happens in North Naples that requires alot of ambulances, The County Ems department will supplement its capability with a private ambulance and a pair of 18 y/o kids show up at your door for your emergency after trying to find out where your house is located because they are unfamiliar with the community.

RayPray writes:

in response to Fossil:

This is what happens when you start contracting out services. Any business wishing to perform services for the public at public expense should be required to submit a bid and their performance and quality levels should at least be at the same level, or exceed that of the service they hope to replace. This is not a market driven result. When a government goes down this road they eventually suffer a decline in services. Why? Because a private business cannot continue to maintain the same standards and quality of service demanded by regulations without eventually increasing the costs. The only other alternative to increasing costs is to have politicians get rid of the regualtions that eat into their profits. Either way, the public suffers and business gets more of our tax money hiring incompetant people at minimum wages.

"...our tax money hiring incompetant people at minimum wages."

100% true!

What we need to solve our economic woes is for everyone in the country to be given a government job, paid for by China!

Like the high-IQ TSA, the government can hire incompetent surly fools at top wages and benefits.

If Obama mandates that all these new government workers must wear some kind of kelly-colored outfits, these new government jobs can easily be categorized as 'green'!!!

Fossil writes:

TSA was established by a frightened administration that believed Walmart business practices could be used to perform this job. Hire a bunch of unskilled workers and do so at little or no cost. TSA employees are some of the least trained and lowest paid employees in the Government. The Congress doesn't believe TSA jobs are worthy of the compensation required to perfrom the job appropriately. The entire Homeland Security Agency is a Republican animal and it is ALL wrong. So, I guess I agree with you Ray.

ajm3s writes:

in response to conspiracy34102:

So, Let me get this straight. The county commissioners approve a Class 2 COPCN without a minimum or maximum amount of Ambulances, without knowing where they are going to be based out of, or without knowing how much they are going to be charging us. Nice Work!!!!!!

Hey didnt North Naples Fire Department go through this process about 6 months ago, and it kept on getting tabled or many restrictions including training requirements put into place before a certificate was issued.

But yet a Politician that is the owner of an ambulance co. comes in applies for the certificate without any publications or announcements and gets it awarded in less than 3 weeks.....WOW!!!!!

You are so astute! So again, we watch commissioners making a decision on a single applicant to provide the service. Is this efficiency of review or .......incompetence?

Beware, any and all private/public partnerships require due diligence and detail review. But just like so many public-government decisions, they are flawed not because of the inherent relaitionship of public/private partnerships but because of the process of review that is generally.... or perhaps always lacking and/or guided by cronyism.

Oh! I forgot this may have been an emergency response to a crisis as a result of an incident that was a failure of management to follow protocols. And there seems to be a lot of management to go around and around and around. So why do we expect a different result, in a politically charged environment to evaluate and manage patient transport and/or emergency services?

RayPray writes:

in response to Fossil:

TSA was established by a frightened administration that believed Walmart business practices could be used to perform this job. Hire a bunch of unskilled workers and do so at little or no cost. TSA employees are some of the least trained and lowest paid employees in the Government. The Congress doesn't believe TSA jobs are worthy of the compensation required to perfrom the job appropriately. The entire Homeland Security Agency is a Republican animal and it is ALL wrong. So, I guess I agree with you Ray.

"The entire Homeland Security Agency is a Republican animal and it is ALL wrong."

>>> True!

>>> That's why it was so welcome when the Obama Pelosi Reid team when it controlled all branches of government for two years immediately jumped on Ron Paul's advise to eliminate TSA & Homeland Security boondoggle....

Fossil writes:

Ray: One knee jerk reaction cannot be corrected by another. Republican administration would promise to eliminate a large federal agency without first considering all the consequences not Dems. The Obama administration is being hindered in correcting the mistakes of the last administration by a Congress that refuses to govern. Even when the Dems had a majority in both houses, the Congress refused to govern with a simple majority as the Constitution permits. They are ALL wimps and one element only cares abut the success of the GOP and not the nation. The other is afraid to offend the GOP and those who pay for their campaigns. Please explain why only clowns are stepping forward to be candidates for the GOP, these people couldn't win an election for city council much less the Presidency. Because of the lack of "presidential" candidates running for the GOP, we really have no choice but to vote for Obama or stay home. After all, we know what he will do and won't do. Because I'm not rich, I really don't care if he raises the taxes on those bandits. So we are in real trouble.

marcojerry writes:

HOPEFULLY THEY DON'T HIRE THE SAME PEOPLE THAT JUST GOT FIRED FROM THE NCH HOSPITAL AMBULANCES, OTHERWISE ITS THE SAME THING WITH JUST A DIFFERENT NAME ON THE SIDE.

RayPray writes:

in response to Fossil:

Ray: One knee jerk reaction cannot be corrected by another. Republican administration would promise to eliminate a large federal agency without first considering all the consequences not Dems. The Obama administration is being hindered in correcting the mistakes of the last administration by a Congress that refuses to govern. Even when the Dems had a majority in both houses, the Congress refused to govern with a simple majority as the Constitution permits. They are ALL wimps and one element only cares abut the success of the GOP and not the nation. The other is afraid to offend the GOP and those who pay for their campaigns. Please explain why only clowns are stepping forward to be candidates for the GOP, these people couldn't win an election for city council much less the Presidency. Because of the lack of "presidential" candidates running for the GOP, we really have no choice but to vote for Obama or stay home. After all, we know what he will do and won't do. Because I'm not rich, I really don't care if he raises the taxes on those bandits. So we are in real trouble.

"we really have no choice but to vote for Obama"

Obama Backers Tied to Lobbies Raise Millions

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/us/...

Fossil writes:

Ray: send me your $5.00 contribution and I will match it with my $5.00. Bundle it up and send it to Obama. Better then giving our hard earned money to the pizza dilivery man, the cowboy who wears high heels, the flipflopper or a raging lunatic ding bat to buy a book they published for resale at one of their campaign events. We know Obama and we know that he kills terrorists and dictators.

islandgma writes:

Why didn't the fire department ambulance which is right across the street take the man who ultimately died to the hospital?

dc5799 writes:

in response to islandgma:

Why didn't the fire department ambulance which is right across the street take the man who ultimately died to the hospital?

As Ed Issler claim's MIFD was not legally allowed to transport the victim.

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