Ariz. law hurts ambulance competition
Some officials worry about EMS coverage if a 'too big to fail' private firm fails
PHOENIX — When Rural Metro Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection last year competitors viewed the development as an opportunity to enter the Valley's lucrative ambulance services business.
Very few municipalities own their own ambulances so companies like Rural Metro supply the hardware and oftentimes the personnel to fill the need. But in Arizona, getting into the ambulance services business is more difficult than it may sound.
"It was far more daunting and expensive than I really ever dreamed it would be," said Neal Thomas, who owns a transportation service called Comtrans, which caters to people with special needs. "Almost entirely what happens in an ambulance business, we already do. Your equipment is a little bit more expensive, but we have the experience. We've done it before," said Thomas, who worked in the ambulance services business before.