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Glen Ellyn to outsource ambulance services, fleet

Local GovernmentWMATALocalNews

Glen Ellyn soon will no longer own and maintain its own ambulance fleet as village officials this week chose to outsource its entire operation of ambulance and paramedic services.

The Board of Trustees voted on Monday to award a contract to Elmhurst-based Metro Paramedic Services Inc. The company will provide firefighter/paramedic staffing, billing services and the ownership and maintenance of the ambulance vehicles.

The five-year cost for the contract was estimated to be about $1.74 million.

The board has talked over the past several months about the new contract, debating whether the village should continue owning the ambulance vehicles.

"When we first started this, one of the goals was to remove budget unknowns," said Trustee Diane McGinley. "There is significant risk in owning (the ambulances.) It's a budget unknown and you're leaving yourself vulnerable to that aspect of it."

Monday's vote was not the village's first go at the new contract. The board previously voted to award a contract to Kurtz Paramedic Services, of New Lenox, for staffing and billing services and also initially chose to keep the ownership and maintenance of the fleet in-house.

However, that contract fell through when Kurtz later told village officials that there were discrepancies in their bid and that the numbers were wrong.

The village then went out for bid again on the proposal and received the lowest offer from Metro.

A staff report weighed the benefits of keeping or outsourcing ownership and maintenance of the fleet. An analysis shows that the village would save about $272,000 over five years, or about $54,400 per year, if they chose to keep the vehicles.

Staff recommended that the trustees choose the ownership option, pointing out that the village would also have better control over repairs and timeliness if the vehicles were maintained in-house.

With the exception of Trustee Dean Clark, the majority of the board decided that the risk associated with keeping the vehicles, along with maintenance costs, outweighed the projected savings.

"I don't think the cost justifies the risk," said Trustee Peter Ladesic. "I have never and I still don't support owning our own ambulances."

Trustee Jim Burket agreed, calling the cost-savings figure a "dice roll."

"I just don't think it's enough money to take on the responsibility," he said.

Metro's submitted proposal of $1.74 million was about $363,000 lower than the next lowest option, village officials said.

The village has worked with the company in the past. Metro has 27 years of experience in the business and provides similar services to other municipalities and districts, including the city of Elmhurst, villages of Mundelein, Roselle and Antioch, along with the Warrenville Fire Protection district, according to a village report.

The new contract with Metro will take effect on June 15.

qtruong@tribune.com

Twitter @QuanATruong

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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