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Washington Voices

Regional ambulance contract bids sought

A consortium of fire districts and departments in Spokane County started soliciting bids March 27 for a regional ambulance contract.

Spokane Valley Fire Department Chief Mike Thompson said officials conducted a conference Monday to answer questions from potential bidders, and bidding will close May 27. He said three companies have expressed interest in bidding, including American Medical Response, which provides most ambulance service in Spokane County.

Currently, only the Spokane Fire Department has a comprehensive contract with AMR. Consortium members hope a broader contract will drive down prices for patients while establishing performance standards based on population densities.

The consortium includes the Spokane Valley Fire Department – which serves Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Millwood – and eight other independent fire districts, plus the Spokane, Airway Heights, Cheney and Medical Lake municipal fire departments. The group includes Fire Districts 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13.

Only Deer Park and Fire Districts 2 and 12, which are served by volunteer ambulance groups, are not in the consortium.

“We’re just glad to see that bid package out and going through the process so we can bring this together after three years of hard work by everybody,” Thompson said.