St. Mary's County Privatizes Some Paramedic Services

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (June 2, 2009)—St. Mary's County Government awarded Patriot Medical Transport System, LLC a contract to provide supplemental paramedics to St. Mary's County's Advance Life Support (ALS) Unit. The contract award is for one base year and two option years.

The contract is in response to a February 2008 report from an independent task force that evaluated volunteerism in the County's fire and EMS agencies.

Based on the report's findings, the Board of County Commissioners for St. Mary's County directed the Department of Public Safety to conduct a solicitation for a paid paramedic service to supplement the ALS Unit's volunteer paramedics. The competitive solicitation was finalized in October 2008 and the contract was awarded on May 4, 2009. The supplemental services are expected to start in June.

This contract is the first in the State of Maryland by a local jurisdiction to use the services of a commercial EMS company in this manner. The contract criteria included experience providing EMS services, experience of key personnel, and in-depth knowledge of Maryland EMS systems.

"We are pleased that this local firm was selected to provide this needed service to our residents," explained Francis Jack Russell, President, Board of County Commissioners. "This contract will supplement the efforts by our dedicated volunteer professionals throughout the county."

Volunteer paramedics will continue to be dispatched to residents' home via the Emergency Operations Center, with paramedics from Patriot Medical Transport System supplementing the staffing of St. Mary's ALS to meet the growing need for paramedic services in the county. The Patriot paramedics will respond in St. Mary's ALS Unit vehicles and use the ALS Unit's equipment.

The county's FY09 budget includes $60,000 for this contract; the amount allocated in the FY10 budget is $60,000.

County officials say there is an ongoing need for new volunteers in the Emergency Medical Services system. For more information on how to volunteer, contact the Department of Public Safety at 301-475-4200, x2112 or visit your local Rescue Squad or Fire Department.

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