MACOMB — A proposed five-year contract between the city and Alabama-based Lifeguard Ambulance Service was discussed by aldermen Monday. City Administrator Dean Torreson said the contract mimics the five-year agreement between Lifeguard and McDonough District Hospital but that it is based on a year to year renewal with a 90-day termination option.
Torreson said Lifeguard would pay the city a minimum of $100,000 per year for the services of one firefighter/EMT as the driver of one of three ambulances that the company will have in service. The company would pay $36,000 annual rental for space in the two Macomb fire stations for a total fleet of five ambulances.
A $252 per month administrative fee would also be paid by Lifeguard. according to Torreson. The proposed contract would take effect at the beginning of January.
The city administrator thanked International Association of Firefighters Local #3035 for contributing to the contract language. Torreson said the city began exploratory talks in January when MDH indicated it might outsource ambulance service. Followup talks with Lifeguard occurred after it was chosen by the hospital, with City Attorney Kristen Petrie working on the agreement for the past two months.
Torreson said emergency calls have typically totaled about 3,000 per year countywide, with 75 percent of all calls coming from locations in Macomb. Fire Chief J. R. Hyde said 85 percent of all Macomb calls are for emergency medical service. Of the 15 percent fire calls, he said many of them are false alarms.
The firefighters union has verbally agreed that, if station staffing is down from six to four firefighters on a given shift, any emergency call from outside of Macomb would trigger a callout for at least one member of the next scheduled crew to come in early in case of an additional call.
Also Monday, council members discussed a proposed request for bids to modify a garage area for fire department use in the Macomb Transit Center. The area would contain equipment removed from Macomb Fire Station #1 to make room for the Lifeguard ambulances.
Torreson said firefighters would do some of the internal construction, but that external work would be needed to add a second overhead door and an approach apron. Specifications would be sent out next week if the city council approves the request for bids, and bids would be due Oct. 16. Torreson said the work should take about 60 days and needs to be…