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American Medical Response selected as new emergency medical provider for Washington County

For the first time in more than 20 years, county selects new company to provide ambulance service.
Media release

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted today to enter into negotiations with American Medical Response to serve as the new 9-1-1 emergency medical transport provider for Washington County, beginning this summer.  

The recommendation came from a 10-member expert panel that included representatives from local fire departments, hospitals, 9-1-1 dispatch, county emergency medical staff and a public advocate.

American Medical Response (AMR), which already provides emergency transport services in Clackamas, Multnomah and Clark counties, scored 345 out of total of 400 points. This was 45 points higher than the next closest competitor.

“American Medical Response submitted an excellent proposal, showing its knowledge and experience in disaster preparedness and response. AMR has the technical capabilities to have ambulances dispatched in a timely manner and, most importantly, to provide high-quality emergency medical care to the community,” said Patrick Wineman, one of the panel members and chief of operations for Forest Grove Fire and Rescue.

The panel also noted that AMR supports a strong work-life balance for employees and a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

AMR was one of three companies to answer the county’s request for proposals for a new EMS franchise agreement in January 2023. The new agreement will replace the current agreement that first went into effect in 1997.

The other EMS providers to submit proposals were Metro West Ambulance, the current EMS provider in Washington County, and Falck, a company that provides EMS services in the Salem area.  

“We congratulate AMR on their competitive proposal. This new franchise agreement will ensure that our community members have access to the highest quality emergency response resources. Our previous agreement was outdated and didn’t allow for the necessary changes to modernize our system to better integrate with our healthcare and emergency partners,” said Washington County Board Chair Kathryn Harrington.   

Some of the changes in the new agreement will include:

  • Improved dispatch system: This will allow 9-1-1 operators to see where ambulances are located and to dispatch the closest ambulance to the scene.
  • New quality metrics: The current agreement only requires the vendor to measure response time. The new agreement will also require the vendor to measure and share clinical outcomes. 
  • New data-sharing system: This will require the vendor to implement a new computerized data-sharing system so fire departments, 9-1-1 operators, the ambulance vendor and county EMS staff can monitor quality and see emerging call patterns. 

You can read more about these recommended changes in the 2022 EMS Alliance Strategic Plan, developed by Washington County and its EMS partners.

Under the current franchise agreement, Metro West will continue providing emergency transport services until sometime this summer, when the new franchise agreement with AMR will take effect.

Watch the Feb. 21 board meeting.

See information presented to board.


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