MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (WISH)- Some city leaders are having to quickly search for new ambulance services. A major provider in some Indiana communities, Rural/Metro Corporation, is leaving some of its Indiana locations.
The company hasn’t confirmed which locations will be affected, but they’ve said it’s not all of them. Company officials are traveling around the state, meeting individually with city leaders this week.
Martinsville Mayor Phil Deckard said he got calls over the weekend, saying people had heard Rural/Metro would be leaving. He called Monday morning to get the facts.
“I relayed my concerns, what I had heard,” Deckard explained. “He reassured me Rural/Metro is pulling out of Indiana, not totally, but the majority, and Martinsville is included.”
Rural/Metro keeps two ambulances within city limits at all times to respond to calls in Martinsville.
Deckard says he now has two concerns: the residents, and keeping good coverage for them, and also for the employees who live in his community, and work for Rural/Metro.
He says their contract gives them 120 days to find a replacement company. That’s something they’re already working on, the mayor explained he’s already had conversations about what’s next. Deckard said he has a meeting set up for Wednesday with Rural/Metro, where he’ll find out more. He said they’d set it up before, and he didn’t realize what it would be for.
Wayne County also contracts with Rural/Metro to cover Richmond and the eastern part of the county.
Commissioner Mary Anne Butters says an executive had contacted them to set up a meeting for Tuesday, but they haven’t heard why.
but they still haven’t heard why.
Butters says if they find out Rural/Metro is leaving them, they will work fast to find a replacement.
“It would leave us with a deep commitment to make sure there is no interruption in ambulance service,” said Butters.
Greenwood also contracts with Rural/Metro, but a spokesperson told 24-Hour News 8 they would comment after they met with Rural/Metro Tuesday.
A spokesperson for the city of Anderson says they use Rural/Metro ambulance service as a backup service. She says they’ve not been contacted by the company yet, but added via email, the changes wouldn’t affect their daily operation; they’ll utilize a different private carrier service as backup if all their ambulances are in use.
Rural/Metro also contracts at IMS to provide ambulance service at the track.
President Doug Boles told 24-Hour News 8 he heard they will be affected by this too.
Rural/Metro Corporation did release a statement explaining why this is happening, when, and how they plan to help employees.
Read their full statement here:
Following a year-long effort to substantially restructure and improve its municipal contracts throughout Indiana, Rural/Metro has decided to discontinue operations in a number of Indiana counties. Rural/Metro’s operating footprint in Indiana is a series of smaller, nonadjacent rural areas that have become increasingly difficult to serve due to very low transport volumes. These factors, combined with a changing American healthcare environment, larger amounts of unpaid indigent care, and low Medicaid reimbursement rates within Indiana have created a difficult business environment which led to this decision. These operations will be ended in accordance with the terms of their respective contracts.
Transitioning out of these select Indiana markets, which represent a non-material total of Rural/Metro’s overall transport volume, allows Rural/Metro to continue focusing on areas where it can efficiently provide optimal service and patient care. Rural/Metro is committed to working with these affected counties and our EMS partners to assist in transitioning service so that ongoing service needs are met in a seamless manner.
Although Rural/Metro will be strategically withdrawing from a number of its central Indiana locations, it will continue to serve higher volume markets in Indiana with a sufficient scale for the company to benefit from operating efficiencies.
Rural/Metro is a leading provider of emergency and non-emergency medical transportation, fire protection, and safety-related services in communities throughout the United States. Established in 1948, Rural Metro has cultivated 66 years of unparalleled system transparency, superior customer service, and robust continuous improvement processes.
Our core mission is to provide quality community health services that encompass long-term stability, innovation, and exceptional care.