At the request of Fenton Fire Chief Robert Cairnduff, the City Council on Monday authorized the city administration to sign a contract with Medstar Ambulance once terms are reached.
STAT Emergency Medical Services, the city’s current provider, let the city know on July 27 that it would soon be ending the long-term relationship with the City and would provide the city with time to select other options . This comes amid a nationwide crisis for emergency medical services, which have 35% fewer ambulances on the streets due largely to difficulty staffing the rigs.
Cairnduff said securing the services of Medstar by a target date of Aug. 15 is critically important. “We really have no other options at this point, and we need to secure EMS coverage for our residents.”
Medstar will not commit to having an ambulance physically in the city at all hours. Instead, the company would meet the current standard of responding to 90% of all Tier 1 (life-threatening emergencies) calls within eight minutes and 59 seconds. This is the same service standard in the current contract with STAT EMS.
Medstar will not make any commitment to answering other lower priority calls in a specified time. Instead, those calls would be triaged and answered when possible.
Cairnduff said the city had a good working relationship for almost 12 years with STAT EMS and said it’s unfortunate that the changes in the County and in the industry are driving the company to part ways with the city.