Loudon County Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to award Priority Ambulance a new contract to provide exclusive emergency and nonemergency service to the county.
The vote approves a new contract with an initial term of five years that goes into effect February 1 with the possibility of an additional five-year renewal.
“Priority Ambulance has been an exceptional ambulance service partner for the past five years,” Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw said. “Not only does Priority provide efficient and effective emergency care to our citizens when they need it most, but they go above and beyond with programs and initiatives that promote better health in our community, such as CPR, first aid and stop the bleed training in our schools and first responders, AED programs and countless hours supporting community events, festivals and parades. We are proud to continue our relationship with them.”
Priority Ambulance also is the contracted provider for the cities of Lenoir City and Loudon. Priority Ambulance provides 9-1-1 ambulance response to all areas with Loudon County at no cost to the county or its cities.
“Loudon County and the cities of Lenoir City and Loudon were among the first communities to choose Priority Ambulance when we established our national headquarters in East Tennessee,” said Priority Ambulance CEO Bryan Gibson. “We value the county’s continued trust in our local team, most of whom are long-time residents of Loudon County serving their neighbors, friends and family.”
In the new contract term, Priority Ambulance also is bringing significant new investment in vehicles and equipment to the area. The company has already placed two new Ford E350 ambulances in the county, customized specifically for Loudon County with a box-style for greater space, and will provide additional new ambulances in 2020 for a total of four new ambulances in the frontline fleet.
Additionally, Priority Ambulance is placing a Lucas 3 automatic chest compression device on each ambulance and with local first responders to extend early intervention for cardiac arrests with consistent, effective chest compressions in the field. A total of eight Lucas devices will be placed in Loudon County – one in each of Priority’s four frontline ambulances and one device will be placed with each of our Loudon County first responders.
The Lucas device automates consistent, uninterrupted chest compressions from arrival throughout transportation. First responders, paramedics and EMTs have hands free to complete other important tasks with the patient during transport, and there is no risk of quality degradation of compressions due to fatigue.
“Studies show that early intervention and uninterrupted, consistent chest compressions significantly improves survival in patients who suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital,” said Priority Ambulance Vice President Rob Webb. “As part of our analysis for this new contract, we analyzed cardiac arrest data within the county to ensure the strategic placement of the chest compression devices. We believe this device will enhance the Loudon County EMS system’s response to cardiac arrests, particularly in the rural areas where first responders are often first on the scene.”
Priority Ambulance will continue to provide free standby service for sporting events, festivals, parades and other community events; and host free CPR, first-aid and public safety classes for the community. Since 2015, Priority Ambulance has trained more than 2,500 individuals in CPR, including every schoolteacher in Loudon County, first responders and law enforcement, and trained 1,135 in bleeding control techniques.
About Priority Ambulance:
Priority Ambulance serves more than 400,000 patients annually with approximately 3,000 highly trained paramedics and EMTs staffing a fleet of approximately 500 state-of-the-art vehicles with the latest medical equipment and technology. Priority Ambulance operates in 10 states under trusted local brands that provide emergency and non-emergency medical transport services.
The Priority Ambulance family of companies includes Shoals Ambulance in Alabama; Maricopa Ambulance in Arizona; Puckett EMS in Georgia and Southeast Tennessee; Central EMS in Georgia; National EMS in Georgia; Seals Ambulance in Indiana; Kunkel Ambulance in upstate New York; Trans Am Ambulance in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania; Medshore Ambulance in South Carolina; and Priority Ambulance in east Tennessee. Priority Ambulance also serves Baptist Memorial Health Care facilities in west Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas under the Baptist brand. For more information, go to www.priorityambulance.com.