Friday, July 13, 2018

City junks ambulance RFP, plans new solicitation

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 10:20 AM

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Eight months after asking for bids for an emergency ambulance provider, the city of Colorado Springs has bagged the process and will start over.

From city spokesperson Jamie Fabos:
The City has opted to cancel the RFP for ambulance service which was sent out in December 2017. While we appreciate greatly the efforts of all involved, the City has determined that it is in its best interest to refine the Ambulance Service Scope of Work to better address the emergency service transport needs of its residents. As such, the City and CSFD will revise the scope of work within the RFP and reissue an amended RFP at a later date. Our focus remains the same; to obtain the solution that will be most beneficial to our community. Residents can be assured that the current contract is still in effect, and there will be no interruption of ambulance service.
American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance company has had the contract, which expires at the end of 2018, but ran into competition when Priority Ambulance was chosen earlier this year.

AMR protested that selection, as we reported, based in part on the allegation that a member of the committee that selected Priority had a conflict of interest. The city answered that protest by saying none of the four reasons listed by AMR hold water, and negotiations with Priority will continue.

But now, the city will start over, triggering this statement from Priority.
Priority Ambulance and Colorado Springs Fire Department collaborated for two months working diligently to produce the best solution and partnership to provide ambulance service to the City of Colorado Springs. This process included a thorough credentialing process that established Priority’s experience, capabilities and financial standing, as well as our corporate values of safety, accountability, friendliness and efficiency.

Ultimately, the City of Colorado Springs has elected to revise the RFP and resubmit for a new competitive bid process. Priority Ambulance thanks the City of Colorado Springs for the opportunity to collaborate with them through this process. The negotiating process revealed ways to better design the request for proposals to obtain a better EMS system for the people of Colorado, and we look forward to reviewing the new, improved RFP when it is issued.”
AMR's regional director Scott Lenn said in a statement, “The City is making a very prudent decision. We applaud everyone involved at the City and at the Colorado Springs Fire Department for their commitment to getting this right. AMR is proud of our long history serving the people of Colorado Springs, and we hope to continue the relationship for many years to come.”

The chief officers of Priority have been involved in other ambulance companies that have laid off workers by the hundreds, left communities without ambulance service mid-contract and other missteps in various markets throughout the country. The city didn't cite those cases, though, in its statement saying the process would start over.

"We are estimating issuing the amended RFP in the next 12-18 months," Fabos tells the Indy in an email.

Here's the letter that went to the three bidders:

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