DeKalb County’s contract with controversial ambulance provider American Medical Response was supposed to expire June 30, but the county has extended that contract through September. County officials say an evaluation committee needs more time to review bids before a new contract can be awarded.

Dunwoody has expressed its concerns with AMR’s slow response times that don’t meet its contractual requirements. That complaint resulted in a state subcommittee being appointed last year to review DeKalb County’s EMS services and the city’s request for its own EMS zone.

Dunwoody City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Terry Nall, who has led the city’s effort to break off from DeKalb County to create its own EMS zone, said another delay in awarding a contract means continued slow response times to the city.

“I’m not surprised to hear the temporary contract extension for AMR was signed by DeKalb County for yet another 90 days,” Nall said.

And with no timeline of when a new contract will be awarded suggests a lack of transparency, he added.

“I previously wrote the DeKalb County Procurement contact for an estimated updated timeline of the ambulance recommendation to be presented to the BOC,” Nall said. “The county contact replied only to say she cannot comment on a procurement item until it appears on the BOC agenda.

“Meanwhile, Dunwoody and the public are left in the dark,” he said.

AMR’s five-year contract with the county originally expired Dec. 31, 2018, but was extended through June 30 as a new request for proposal and bid process was drawn up with the assistance of a consultant. The RFPs were made public in March and in May three companies submitted bids: AMR, Grady EMS and PatientCare Logistics Solutions.

Original plans were to have the Board of Commissioners review and vote on a new ambulance service contract in June. But due to the complicated bid documents, more time is needed by the evaluation review committee before a recommendation can be made, according to DeKalb officials.

A timeline for the evaluation and bid going to the Board of Commissioners for a vote has not been established.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.