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Greenwood considers EMS options

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Rural/Metro ambulance will cease operations in Greenwood later this year.

Greenwood Fire Chief James Sipes met with Rural/Metro officials Tuesday morning, and they gave a 90-day notice that they will be ending their contract with the city. The last day of service will be Nov. 18.

Rural/Metro has three ambulances, one at each of Greenwood’s fire stations, and employs 27 full-time and part-time workers in Greenwood, Sipes said. Medical runs accounted for about 5,000 of the 6,000 runs made by the Greenwood Fire Department in 2013, he said.

The city already has been contacted by other private ambulance companies who would be willing to provide service in Greenwood, Sipes said. The city also could consider forming its own ambulance service like other local fire departments, Sipes said. Fire department officials will discuss options with the mayor and develop a timeline to get a new provider before November, he said.

The goal will be to have uninterrupted service and be able to provide the same level of medical care to Greenwood residents when Rural/Metro service ends, Sipes said. Other local fire departments already have agreed to help Greenwood with ambulance service if needed.

The city doesn’t pay a fee for Rural/Metro to operate, nor does it receive any payment from the company, Sipes said. The city has allowed Rural/Metro to operate out of city fire stations, but patients are billed when they are transported to generate income for the company.

Rural/Metro filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and is ceasing operations in multiple central Indiana communities.

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