1 company submits bid to provide ambulance service in Hadley

Staff Writer
Friday, November 24, 2017

HADLEY — A private ambulance service that already has a location on Route 9 is the sole respondent to the town’s request for proposal for handling medical calls in Hadley beginning July 1.

Action EMS, located at the corner of Route 9 and Cross Path Road, was the only provider that responded by the Nov. 15 deadline, Select Board Chairwoman Molly Keegan said.

The town also received two letters, one from the from the town of Amherst and the other from Pioneer Valley EMS/ MedStar in Northampton, providing explanations for why they wouldn’t be submitting bids.

Hadley is seeking a contract that runs from July 1, 2018, when its current arrangement with the town of Amherst ends, through June 30, 2021.

According to the terms of the advertisement, “the required service will include the guaranteed 24-hour availability of personnel qualified under the Massachusetts and federal regulations and requirements for the emergency medical care to patients at the scene of their illness or injury, and ambulance transportation to an appropriate treatment facility.”

Town Administrator David Nixon told the Select Board Wednesday that officials from Amherst, which handles about 1,000 ambulance calls in Hadley annually, making up about 20 percent of its call volume, stated in the letter that it couldn’t comply with the minimum conditions in the 15-page request for proposal.

Among requirements of the request are providing a dedicated Advanced Life Support vehicle to Hadley that would be stationed at public gatherings whenever the fire chief determines that the vehicle is needed for public safety, and providing a standby ambulance to Hadley for special events or disaster and emergency exercises.

The lone bid will go to the Ambulance Study Work Group, which will meet Dec. 4 to review the contents of the response in detail, Keegan said. After due diligence, that group will make a recommendation to the Select Board.

Under terms of the current contract Hadley has with Amherst, signed May 6, 2015 and expiring June 30, the town is assessed $140,000.

The city of Holyoke began a contract with Action EMS in January, replacing AMR.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com