JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting that a mutual response call agreement between the city of Jamestown and Alstar EMS has ended.
Under the agreement, Alstar EMS would refund the city a certain dollar amount for each emergency call the Jamestown Fire Department handles. However, according to the paper, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist is confirming that Alstar has notified the city that it has optioned out of the mutual aid agreement.
UPMC Chautauqua is the primary provider of EMS services in the city and hospital officials reportedly say they feel it is time to renegotiate the agreement, which goes back more than 20 years and which was put in place when it was WCA hospital.
Alstar EMS is the primary provider of EMS transport in the city but the city fire department or other neighboring fire companies are responsible for answering EMS calls when Alstar is unavailable. In recent years that has become more and more frequent and as a result, the hospital has been paying more and more refund money to the city.
Because of the change in the mutual aid agreement between the city and Alstar EMS, Sundquist said the city is now on a tighter timeline to develop a request for proposals to possibly find a new ambulance service provider.
During the Jamestown city council’s work session on Jan. 13, Sundquist said city officials were in the process of drafting a request for proposal notification to be sent to ambulance service providers.
Another option would be to have the city provide ambulance services in-house with the purchase of two new ambulance vehicles, something that was put forward as a possibility by former Mayor Sam Teresi late last year. However, according to the Post-Journal, Sundquist has said that is no longer being considered at this time.