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Medics plan rally after Ore. county rejects sole ambulance bid

American Medical Response employees are angry commissioners voted down the only bid to provide the county with ambulance services, four months before the current contract expires

By Molly Harbarger
The Oregonian

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. — Employees of American Medical Response will hold a rally Tuesday while the Clackamas County commissioners discuss how to provide ambulance services after the current AMR contract runs out in May.

Last week, American Medical Response employees gave Clackamas County commissioners an earful at the board’s Thursday business meeting. The staff is angry at the commissioners’ split decision to reject AMR’s bid to provide the county with ambulance services.

AMR, the current ambulance provider, was the only company to make a proposal.

The board is scheduled for an executive session at 8 a.m. Tuesday, with a public meeting directly following it to discuss and decide how to ensure county residents have access to ambulance services after the current contract expires in May.

Paramedics and EMTs plan to rally before the public meeting. They will gather from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Interstate 205 overpass on Sunnyside Road. Organizers specify that the rally is being run by the employees, and not sponsored by AMR.

"AMR is dedicated to Clackamas County, and this process has clearly demonstrated that fact," said paramedic Garth Hope-Melnick in a press release. "In fact, during the proposal process, our local management came to the union and the employees and asked us to make wage concessions in order to enable the company to propose a lower price for services in their bid. AMR EMTs and paramedics across the entire metro area, not just in Clackamas, all voted to approve these concessions so that we could continue to serve Clackamas county. I think that shows our commitment."

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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