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BREAKING: AMR opts out of appearing before Operations Committee Monday

American Medical Response–or AMR–the private ambulance company that had been asked by some members of the Anderson County Commission to make a presentation about their services and how they might be beneficial to the county, has decided not to appear before the Operations Committee Monday night.

In a letter to Operations Committee Chairman Tim Isbel, County Mayor Terry Frank and the rest of the County Commission, AMR Regional Director Christopher Blach says that he received an “unsolicited invitation to attend the Operations Committee Meeting scheduled [for] April 8, 2019 to introduce our organization” to county leaders. That night, AMR made a brief, three-minute presentation under “New Business,” and was then placed on the agenda for the May Operations meeting, scheduled for this Monday, May 13th.

In the letter sent Friday afternoon, Blach writes that, “in light of a number of concerns brought to our attention related to our presentation scheduled for the Anderson County Operations Meeting…we would like to withdraw our appearance at this time from the agenda.”

Blach also writes that, “We do not wish to interfere with the County’s decision to maintain a public EMS model or choose to look at other options, such as a public/private partnership solution. That is a decision which obviously rests with County Leadership and their constituents. Should Anderson County choose to release a Request for Information or Request for Proposal, we would be very interested in participating in that process.”

We will have more information on this developing story on Monday. Until then, you can read the letter in its entirety below:

(Letter from AMR Regional Director Christopher Blach to county officials, sent Friday, May 10th, 2019)

“Dear Commissioner Isbel,

As you may be aware, I received an unsolicited invitation to attend the Operations Committee Meeting scheduled April 8, 2019 to introduce our organization. I was excited for the opportunity to share with the group the depth of resources and high quality clinical care AMR brings to over 4,000 communities nationwide. Here in East Tennessee our local operations accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services – Knox, Blount, McMinn and Polk Counties each have chosen AMR to be their exclusive EMS provider (Knox for over 30 years). Whether urban or rural, we customize our system design based on the needs and desires of each community we serve. National resources supporting community EMS operations.

In light of a number of concerns brought to our attention related to our presentation scheduled for the Anderson County Operations Meeting scheduled May 13, 2019, we would like to withdraw our appearance at this time from the agenda.

We do not wish to interfere with the County’s decision to maintain a public EMS model or choose to look at other options, such as a public/private partnership solution. That is a decision which obviously rests with County Leadership and their constituents. Should Anderson County choose to release a Request for Information or Request for Proposal, we would be very interested in participating in that process.

I truly value the opportunity I have had to interact with Leadership and learn more about the EMS needs of Anderson County.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher Blach

Regional Director

American Medical Response of Tennessee”

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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