As of Jan. 1, 2015, the City of Vancouver is contracting directly with AMR to provide ambulance service to citizens, instead of through a multi-jurisdictional interlocal agreement.
The goals and objectives of this change are:
- Maintain or potentially improve emergency medical service.
- Keep patient charges as low as possible.
- Assure equitable distribution of costs and levels of service throughout the county.
- Assure highest accountability for results through direct oversight and governance relationship.
Ambulance services within the City of Vancouver used to be provided through an interlocal agreement originally signed in 1993. The service was user-fee supported and AMR was contracted to provide ambulance services.
EMS District 2 encompasses the cities of Vancouver, Battle Ground, La Center, Woodland and Ridgefield and the unincorporated areas of Clark County.
Why did the City make this change?
- The Board of Clark County Commissioners serves as the EMS District 2 Board and has sole final approval authority. The other partner agencies, including the City of Vancouver, had no direct decision-making authority over the administration of the current EMS contract or the services provided.
- The City of Vancouver has grown significantly over the 20 years that have passed since the EMS District 2 interlocal agreement was first signed. The city’s population generates 74 percent of the ambulance calls, and thus supplies a majority of EMS fees used to pay for the service.
- The needs of City/urban and County/rural areas are different and the City desires a more direct relationship with the ambulance service to better meet its urban needs.
- The Vancouver Fire Department (VFD) currently responds to medical calls. Due to the terms of the district’s contract, very little coordination was allowed to occur between the VFD EMS responders and the ambulance provider, which resulted in duplication of effort.
- By having direct oversight of the ambulance service, the Vancouver Fire Department will be able to develop the “hand in glove” relationship with the ambulance provider to better provide effective and efficient service to citizens.
The contract with AMR to provide ambulance services was approved by the Vancouver City Council in November 2014. The contract went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
Internal and External Audits of Ambulance Services Contract:
- Ambulance Customer Billing Verification (May 2016)
- Professional Services Agreement Assessment (March 2016)