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Sumter County Seeking Solutions For Ambulance Wait Times

amr ems.jpg
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

County commissioners picked an ad hoc committee of five volunteers steeped in EMS and hospital management to look into several options.

Sumter County has had complaints this year about ambulance delays, some possibly tied to pandemic-related wait times at the hospital in The Villages.

And now the county is questioning whether to renew its contract next year with ambulance service AMR.

On Tuesday, county commissioners picked an ad hoc committee of five volunteers steeped in emergency medical services and hospital management.

Commission Chairman Garry Breeden says committee members are looking for long-term solutions that improve patient care.

“We gave them 10 options to look at,” he said after the commission meeting. “They may come up with something totally different, which is fine. 'We got a better idea?' Go for it.”

The committee will make a recommendation in September.

But already two committee members have made it clear they think that the county and The Villages fire departments should manage the ambulances.

Patients and their insurance, including Medicare, cover most of the costs for AMR. Sumter County contributes $1.2 million a year.

Building a local ambulance service could cost a lot more.

The county is aiming for a decision in January. AMR’s contract ends in October 2022.