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Wis. town partners with private ambulate service after cost conflict with city

The Town of Burlington announced a partnership with Medix Ambulance after the City of Burlington decided to end existing service due to cost


Medix Ambulance Service/Facebook

By Scott Williams
The Journal Times

TOWN OF BURLINGTON, Wis. — Ambulance service for the town’s 6,500 residents is switching to the privately owned Curtis Ambulance Service.

Town officials announced a deal with Milwaukee-based Curtis Ambulance to succeed the City of Burlington, after the city terminated its agreement with the town.

Curtis Ambulance, also known as Medix Ambulance, will begin serving the Town of Burlington effective Jan. 1.

Curtis Ambulance officials estimated the contract cost at $400,000 a year.

Town Administrator Rachel Naber said Curtis Ambulance already has a presence in the area and will provide “timely services to all areas of the town.”

“With this new partnership, town residents will have a dedicated ambulance staffed by highly trained and certified professionals,” she said.

The town’s announcement did not indicate how much the contract would cost or how it compares with what the town was paying the City of Burlington for ambulance service.

The City of Burlington announced Sept. 25 that it was terminating service to the town because of disagreement about the cost. Details of the contractual negotiations have not been disclosed.

The city had been handling the town’s ambulance calls since 2020, and before that through the now-defunct volunteer Burlington Rescue Squad.

Medix Ambulance, which was acquired by Curtis Ambulance, was the backup paramedic provider for the Burlington Rescue Squad. The operation still has a central station and maintenance hub at 642 Kane St. in Burlington.

Curtis Ambulance CEO James Baker said the established presence in Burlington will make it seamless for the company to respond to emergency medical calls in the town.

“We can service all of the parts of the town very easily and conveniently,” Baker said.

Baker said he anticipates getting about 400 calls for service annually in the Town of Burlington.

With a history dating back to the 1850s, Curtis Ambulance describes itself as America’s oldest private ambulance provider. The company is active in Milwaukee and Madison, and is known as Medix Ambulance in the Racine and Kenosha area.

Baker said his firm has a fleet of about 24 ambulances, with both paramedics and emergency medical technicians on staff. The company also has contracts in the City of Delavan and the Town of Richmond, and assists with special events such as the Country Thunder music festival.

In Racine County, the Town of Dover contracted with Curtis Ambulance for about 12 years before the Kansasville Fire & Rescue Department last year upgraded its emergency medical services.

Kansasville Fire Chief Ron Molnar had high praise for Curtis, saying that the private ambulance crews “rose to any occasion” as needed.

“Curtis Universal was a valuable emergency response partner,” Molnar said.

Baker said his staff has experience and expertise.

“We bring a lot to the table,” he said.