(Lander, WY) – The Fremont County Commissioners met for their regular meeting Tuesday, April 20.
Community concern about Requests For Proposals (RFP’s) for Fremont County’s ambulance services lead to a packed house.
As previously reported, April 15 was the deadline for submitting RFP’s for Fremont County’s ambulance service. American Medical Response (AMR), Fremont County’s current provider, did not submit an RFP as they had previously stated on March 8, and their contract will end on June 30.
The Commissioners released the following official statement regarding the subject:
“To the people of Fremont County:
At this point in time we did not receive any proposals to run the ambulance services for Fremont County.
We are aware of a couple different companies who have shown interest, and we certainly would encourage them to come forward very soon.
We will keep the date open for any RFP’s that may come our way.
In the meantime, we want you to know that we are not and will not abandon this vital service. We will continue to seek the best options available, whether run by the private sector, or if Fremont County must operate the system again.
To the fine folks who are working for ambulance service now, rest assured that you will still be needed no matter the outcome. Your professionalism and dedication are vital to the success of the service, and we thank you for all that you do to help your friends and neighbors.
Fremont County Commissioners “
Chairman Travis Becker also wanted to reassure those worried about what happens when the contract ends on June 30, and there’s still no official service provider, “If you call 911 on July 1st, ambulances will roll.”
Commissioners then heard from a number of meeting attendees, including Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith.
“I just want to offer any support I can give,” stated Mayor Highsmith, “Shoshoni is a part of Fremont County, and we need to take a team approach to solve this problem.” He also suggested getting tribes, municipalities, representatives, and health professionals together, to “form a team.”
This sentiment was shared by the Commissioners, as well as Lander Mayor Monte Richardson. “We need to get EVERYONE involved, people who use the service, everybody.”
After AMR Ambulance Director Diane Lane spoke and provided her quarterly update, it was also suggested by Commissioner Larry Allen that “two commited representatives from AMR potentially be requested to sit in on future meetings.”
“These representatives could be someone like Desirae Jellis,” Chairman Travis Becker suggested.
Jellis, a longtime Fremont County AEMT, was also in attendance at today’s meeting, and voiced her worries concerning retention of employees, benefits, wages, reliance on volunteers, and lack of medical director once the contract is up.
“Some volunteer services could be handled for smaller areas, but not Lander, Riverton, and the surrounding reservation,” stated Jellis. “Ambulances will roll, but with no medical director, there’s no guidance for paramedics.”
“These are the questions that we’re concerned about. We know they can’t be answered today, but they’re going to need to be answered. We want to provide care for our community.”
Chairman Becker agreed, stating “The system is you, we need you. We have to have you working.”
The Commissioners also reiterated that the date will be kept open for any RFP’s that may present themselves.
County 10 will continue to report on the situation as it progresses, and to read all previous and future coverage, click here.