News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, July 29, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The City of Augusta is set to get a new ambulance contract, and leaders say the service should be improved.
The increase is coming at what some believe is a fair price, but some commissioners wonder if you can really have a fair price with no competition.
"You don't know and now it's too late," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.
"You'll never really know unless we go out for bid and that's not the direction I had," said City Administrator Fred Russell.
Augusta commissioners voted to suspend the bid process after a handful of companies had already started it. It was a 6-to-4 vote to renegotiate with Gold Cross.
"It's not about the service of Gold Cross, they've done a great job. We just wanted to make sure the playing field is level for everybody," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.
"We've agreed to what the administrator has come up with," said Gold Cross CEO Vince Brogdon.
The new contract will have a minimum number of ambulances, making strokes and other major emergencies a priority call and the city's 911 center will be able to monitor how fast Gold Cross gets to your emergency.
"I think we did good. The functional concerns we met pretty good. We have a reduction in price as well. I think we got a good service," Russell said.