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County extends ambulance contract with Central EMS
Central ambulance

Forsyth County has decided to stick with its current ambulance provider.

Forsyth County commissioners voted 4-0, with the District 2 seat vacant, to approve a bid for ambulance service to Central Emergency Medical Services, which has contracted with the county since January 2016. The contract was to expire at the end of the year.

As part of the bid, Central will add another full-time ambulance, bringing the total to eight, and increase to nine or 10 at no cost to the county if the number of calls requires it. The bid may also change the pay schedule for Central.

“One is keeping base charges for our services the same as we have at $775 in transport plus $10 per mile,” Procurement Director Donna Kukarola said. “The applicant also offered another option, and that’s for the base service charge being increased to $1,275 a transport plus $16.89 a mile. Our subsidy would then be decreased by $475,000.”

Kukarola said commissioners previously expressed wanting to meet somewhere in the middle and that they will work with the company after the approval to determine more options. She added most other counties have their own ambulance service and do not contract it out.

Fire Department Division Chief Jason Shivers had high praise for the ambulance service, which he said works “seamlessly” with the fire department.

“We’re all on one team,” Shivers said. “In my 20 years here, [they are] the best we’ve ever had here as a contractor, absolutely.”

Central began working with the county in early 2016 after the county’s previous provider since 2008, Advance Ambulance, closed due to financial issues.