City reveals ambulance tally - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

City reveals ambulance tally

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Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2005 6:34 am | Updated: 9:06 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Professional Medical Transport outscored its leading rival by a wide margin last month in the competition to become Scottsdale’s 911 response firm, city records released Friday show.

A panel of four emergency response and medical experts and one city representative heavily favored PMT, which came out ahead of Southwest Ambulance in 31 of 35 judging categories. The panel focused on each firm’s experience, financial strength and deployment plan.

Scottsdale issued the panel’s "scoring sheet" on Friday along with a draft of the city’s contract with PMT.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the pact Oct. 25.

Since the city named PMT the winner and began contract negotiations in September, Southwest has fought to halt the process.

Long the East Valley’s dominant ambulance firm, Southwest filed a protest arguing it offered more ambulances and quicker service. It also alleged that PMT’s proposal to Scottsdale might violate federal fraud laws.

"They’ve been slinging mud about response times and kickbacks and everything they can come up with," said Pat Cantelme, PMT chief executive officer. "What they didn’t do is they didn’t compete. On the playing field, they never showed up."

PMT garnered 9,397 total points to Southwest’s 8,447.

Much of the gap was created by one of the five panel members, the records show. The individual, listed only as "1," awarded 630 more points to PMT than to Southwest.

Southwest lost points in multiple categories dealing with finances, records show. The firm is a subsidiary of Rural/Metro Corp., a publicly traded company that has struggled in recent years but has seen its stock price rise in the past few months.

Southwest spokesman Josh Weiss questioned how PMT’s deployment plan could have been graded higher when his firm proposed to place more ambulances in Scottsdale and pledged to respond to emergencies sooner.

"This proves all of our concerns are legitimate," Weiss said of the scoring.

Scottsdale has refused to release the proposals until after the council has approved the contract with PMT.

Southwest is expected to receive a hearing on its grievances at that time.

Four of the five panel members selected PMT, but most scored the firms far closer together than "1," the records show.

The panel included two ambulance experts — one from California and the other from Florida — a Scottsdale Healthcare nurse, a Florida-based government consultant and Scottsdale’s finance chief Craig Clifford.

Cliff Frey, an assistant city attorney overseeing the ambulance contract, declined to match panel members with the numbers on the scoring sheet. The city will reveal how each panel member voted when the proposals are made public.

"We’re not giving out those names now," Frey said. "Right now they’re just one through five."

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