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Ind. commissioner says safety is first consideration in reviewing ambulance service bids

New Chapel EMS and AmeriPro Health are competing to see who will provide EMS for Floyd County


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By Brooke McAfee
The Evening News and the Tribune

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. — New Chapel EMS and AmeriPro Health have submitted bids for ambulance service in Floyd County.

The Floyd County Commissioners opened the bids at Tuesday’s meeting. New Chapel and AmeriPro were the only agencies to respond to the request for proposals (RFP), which was issued in December.

The commissioners voted to take the EMS bids under advisement. The bids will be discussed at Monday’s EMS board meeting, which will take place at 5 p.m. in the Pine View Government Center.

Al Knable, president of the Floyd County Commissioners, expects to reach a decision on a new contract in the coming weeks.

“We are working very hard to make sure that the taxpayers get the best service at the best price, and we welcome their input,” Knable said. “Most of these deliberations are public, so their voice is very, very important.”

Floyd County currently contracts with New Chapel EMS. The agency also contracts with Clark County for ambulance service.

AmeriPro provides EMS service for the City of New Albany.

The commissioners are seeking expanded services in the new contract, including three full-time ambulances and a paramedic response vehicle. New Chapel’s services under the current contract include two full-time ambulances for Floyd County and a third ambulance during peak run hours.

In its bid for the new contract, New Chapel EMS proposed an annual cost of $960,000 for the first year. The annual cost would increase to $988,800 for the second year and $1.18 million for the third year.

AmeriPro presented two options in its response. One option meets the specifications in the RFP for three ambulances and one paramedic response vehicle, adding up to $1.5 million a year.

The other proposed option would involve two ambulances and a paramedic response vehicle, costing $936,996 a year.

Knable said as officials review the EMS bids, it is “not all about the bottom line or bottom dollar.”

“It’s safety first and economy second,” he said.

Floyd County Commissioner John Schellenberger notes that he and other officials have not yet had the chance to review the bids, since they were opened for the first time at Tuesday’s meeting.

“The EMS board will review them and see what is the best way to go,” he said. “One option may be to just reject them all.”

Floyd County Commissioner Jason Sharp said he plans to review the bids to see if they meet their qualifications and “make our decisions based on what we feel we need as a community for our emergency medical services.”

Knable said he is also aiming for a joint meeting with the Floyd County Council to publicly discuss options for the EMS contract.

New Chapel EMS has come under recent scrutiny amid the investigation into Jamey Noel, the agency’s co-founder and the former Clark County Sheriff.

Noel is facing 25 felony charges, including counts of theft, corrupt business influence, obstruction of justice, official misconduct, ghost employment and tax evasion. Investigators allege that Noel misused Utica Fire Fighters Association funds.

Court documents describe the Utica fire association as an “assumed business name” for New Chapel.

Utica fire and New Chapel receive about $2 million annually from public contracts, according to previous reporting from the News and Tribune.

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