AUBURN — Councilors will get more detailed information about creating a city medical transport service, they agreed Monday.

The City Council directed fire Chief Frank Roma and City Manager Clinton Deschene to investigate the costs and benefits of adding the service.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the city to let the firemen know what we are doing, either forward or back,” Councilor Leroy Walker said. “The union needs to know, too, and it will make your job easier letting them know.”

Councilors voted 6-1 to study the idea, with Ward 2’s Councilor Robert Hayes opposing it.

The city currently sends EMT-trained fire personnel in a rescue vehicle to most emergencies. City EMTs stabilize patients and hand them off to United Ambulance for transport. United Ambulance pays the city a $100,000 annual fee to provide the service. The city doesn’t get any other financial gain from the situation, since insurance companies don’t reimburse for emergency response — just transport.

Councilors considered a similar idea in 2008, that would have replaced one emergency rescue vehicle with a leased ambulance. The city could then have billed insurance companies for the medical transport, making back some of the money it spent. Overall, the service was expected to bring in $193,000 for the city.


Councilors backed off of that plan a year later, in favor of charging United Ambulance the fee.

Roma said the new study would see what it would take to create a viable, sustainable ambulance service.

“It will not be developed in a vacuum,” he said. “It will be collaboratively created, through all levels of the department.”

Councilor Hayes said he wanted to be sure the discussion included United Ambulance.

“I’d like to know what United Ambulance asked of the city when the current contract was developed,” Hayes said. “I would hope, and I guess I’d insist, that United be fully involved from the beginning to the end.”

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