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Deadline Extended For EMS Proposals

Jamestown officials have extended the deadline on its request for proposals of ambulance service operators.

On Wednesday, Eddie Sundquist, Jamestown mayor, told The Post-Journal the deadline has been extended to March 25. Originally the proposals were due March 11. However, because prospective applicants had additional questions, the deadline was extended. Last month, city officials issued the RFP to potential ambulance service companies.

“We received several additional questions from ambulance companies,” Sundquist said. “In response, we extended the bid by two weeks.”

Sundquist said city officials were scheduled to revisit the ambulance proposal request topic this week, but because of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak, the meeting was postpone to deal with the pandemic.

“No decisions will be made this week because of the reduction in workforce by 50%,” he said. “Prepping for (coronavirus) with out team is the forefront of our focus.”

Because of the unknown impact of the coronavirus on Jamestown, Sundquist said the RFP deadline could once again be extended beyond March 25.

Sundquist did indicate that Alstar EMS, which is operated by UPMC Chautauqua, has been involved in the RFP process and has been asking questions of city officials for a potential submission. In January, Sundquist announced that Alstar had notified the city that it would be ending its agreement for EMS services with the city at the beginning of April.

In January, Cecil Miller, UPMC Chautauqua vice president of operations, told The Post-Journal that UPMC canceled its EMS services agreement with the city because the contract was more than 20 years old. The previous agreement was signed in the mid-1990s.

Sundquist has announced that other ambulance services businesses have indicated wanting to work with city officials on providing service.

It has been reported that Alstar EMS has been responding to fewer EMS calls in the city for more than a year. During Sundquist’s State of the City address in January, he said when Alstar first started in the city during the mid-1990s, the city’s fire department was only responding to around 50 calls for EMS service a year. He said last year, the fire department responded to more than 1,000 ambulance service calls.

In 2018 to 2019, the city fire department increased its calls for service by 52.3% and mutual aid from outside city departments increased by 135%.

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