There have been a lot of letters, advertisements and controversy over the bid process involving Riggs Ambulance Service (RAS) vs. American Medical Response (AMR).
It all boils down to simple math. The fact is that RAS is less expensive by about $985 per call. They respond to approximately 2,350 calls per month, which equals 28,200 calls per year. Not all calls are billed by RAS; if they only bill 1,900 calls per month at a savings of $985 that saves the county citizens $22,450,000 in charges per year.
If AMR charges $400 to show up on the other 450 calls that RAS does not bill for, that is 5,400 calls at $400 per call, for a total cost of $2,160,000 charged to the people who made the call to AMR. That's more than $24.5 million that will be charged to Merced County citizens, if AMR gets the contract.
AMR states that all EMTs and paramedics will be hired once they have passed a background check. Will their pay, benefits and vacation time be equivalent to their previous positions? How much money does AMR pay in property taxes to Merced County? Where will the AMR profits go and will they be spent in Merced County or in Colorado? Will AMR support local fund-raising efforts as RAS does now? With AMR all support positions will be eliminated. How much payroll will be lost by eliminating support staff? Keep the jobs and money in Merced County.