Originally created 12/16/01

Former provider gives another ambulance service view



I commend the investigative efforts of The Chronicle in bringing to light issues surrounding the ambulance service contract.

As a former provider of paramedical ambulance services in Richmond County, I came to understand why I couldn't get a contract: I didn't buy barbecue tickets or have chairs upholstered.

Over the past few years, I have written Mayor Bob Young to volunteer my expertise in the efforts to rewrite the ambulance contract. While I have been thanked, I have never been called on to help.

When I was the secondary provider of paramedical services in Richmond County, I knew the ambulance contract was years out of date and I offered on many occasions to provide state-of-the-art paramedical services that would have saved taxpayers millions of dollars and greatly improved services. Each time, I was thwarted by politics.

The people of Augusta deserve a high-quality paramedical provider that meets national standards, whose contract has a quality assurance program that is non-political, and who is made to prove its performance.

For years, University Hospital held the power as far as emergency medical services goes and for years the private provider exceeded its rival in patient care innovations, equipment and aggressive care standards ...

The sooner Augusta moves away from political involvement in its safety services and adopts national performance standards and competitive bidding, the sooner all the residents will benefit.

Jim Adkins, Evans, Ga.