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Another Voice: Buffalo’s new ambulance provider is working to expand in city

By Thomas McEntee

This fall, American Medical Response completed our purchase of Rural Metro, assuming the role of emergency medical services provider for the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, as well as nearby communities from Western to Central New York.

Smart public-private partnerships target promising energy and technology industries that are helping to spur Buffalo’s resurgence. Those of us in the health care sector will need to step up our game to meet the needs of the community.

One common denominator for Buffalo’s impressive recent growth is the talent of its people. We hope to capitalize on this by providing good jobs and training for positions in the emergency medical services industry.

We understand that there have been concerns about response times for 911 EMS calls in Buffalo. We have discussed these issues with public safety officials and have taken the following steps to enhance emergency medical services in the City of Buffalo:

• Offering a $4,500 incentive bonus to help recruit full-time paramedics.

• Offering a $1,000 signing bonus to help recruit full-time EMTs.

• Adding 20 additional vehicles to service Buffalo’s EMS system.

• Implementing a new deployment plan that puts more shifts in Buffalo.

• Redeploying ambulances in the region to match demand at specific times and places.

In all, we plan to hire at least 60 new employees in the coming six months.

AMR’s commitment to Buffalo and Western New York reflects our confidence in the region. Our initial conversations with elected officials, health care industry leaders and nonprofit community partners confirms our belief that Western New York is a vibrant, innovative region, where our strengths as a company will soon be an essential component of the health care system.

AMR is the nation’s largest provider of emergency medical services, operating in 40 states. Our focus on clinical excellence leads to better care and greater collaboration among providers.

AMR is also developing new approaches to health care delivery, including Mobile Integrated Healthcare services that assist with the management of patients in the home and alternate settings. With a focus on high-risk, medically complex and vulnerable patients, Mobile Integrated Healthcare can help reduce the cost of care and improve the patient experience by providing both planned and unplanned 24/7 needs-based, at-home integrated care.

This is the future of health care – employing the best technology, communications, medical devices, skills and training to improve patient outcomes.

We pledge to be accessible and transparent to the residents of Buffalo as we grow and evolve with the community.

Thomas McEntee is CEO of American Medical Response, East.