Commission considers bids for Iron County ambulance service

IRON COUNTY — The Iron County Commission is moving forward with plans to consider transferring the Iron County Ambulance over to a privatized service.

In September, the commission announced the private sector was being looked into as an option for the ambulance service, and the announcement was met with mixed reviews and concerns from ambulance workers and community members.

On Thursday, the Iron County Commission closed the bidding process for the ambulance service; on Monday, the names of the bidders were announced. The companies Gold Cross and Classic Lifeguard Air Medical both submitted bids for the service, along with a bid placed by four private individuals named Paul Christensen, Kyle Preston, Shane Bennett and Rich Preston.

“Our request for proposal was open to anybody interested, so it is not limited to a company,” Iron County Commissioner David Miller said. “If there is a team of people interested, that is totally legitimate.”

While these bids have been received, Miller said, they are still being reviewed by the commission members and he cannot say if one proposal is being favored more than another.

Although the commission is considering privatizing the ambulance service, they will not be changing the dispatch service currently in place, Miller said. Bringing in another service for dispatch would not be ideal because it would just add another step that would not be needed.

“The dispatch service that we have (now) reaches to all of our public safety entities at the same,” Miller said. “Because of the importance of coordination … we want to make sure that our dispatch remains.”

Overall, the issues with the current ambulance service are ones involving money, Miller said. Over at least the last decade, the service has incurred over $2.1 million in debt.

“We have to address the problems that we do have, which is a huge debt and recurring deficits,” Miller said.

The members of the Iron County Commission will be reviewing and discussing the bids they have received in a meeting on Monday in the commission chambers at 68 S. 100 East in Parowan.

While the meeting is open to the public, Miller said, its purpose is not to have a debate or a place for people to vent their frustrations; rather one of conducting business and discussing the options available to the county.

“The commission is interested in what is the most viable and best option for the long term,” Miller said, “as well as addressing the short-term issues for the citizens of Iron County.”

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  • Matt November 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

    What was left out of this article was:

    “Commissioner Dave Miller told (ambulance) employees during their morning meeting that the commissioners wouldn’t be revealing the bids that day BUT then ended up doing so in the afternoon.” Commissioner Miller has been trying to keep everyone in the dark with this

  • My Evil Twin November 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this has been a “done deal” with Gold Cross, right from the get-go. It is too bad for the people of Iron County.
    I HATE crooked politicians, and I’m not real fond of crooked businesses either!

  • dancing infidel November 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Someone spotted Rep. Urqhart in Cedar City not too long ago. Gee….what a coincidence.

    • Voter November 12, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      I really hope the citizens will realize how corrupt Sen. Urqhart really is and will not vote him in next election!

  • Billy Madison November 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    They know what they are going to do, knew last week. This meeting is a patronizing meeting because it is required. Go if you want, but you might as well go out and eat somewhere and watch the cars drive by.

  • Surprised November 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    It sounds like Mr. Miller is about to commit Soical suicide for him self. He wants what’s best/easiest for him. This will suck for Iron Co. Your guys service will go down the drain because Gold Cross cares about money not people.

  • Just me November 12, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    One thing Gold Cross has against them is they want to use their own dispatch system… It doesn’t work in St George… I personally think they should go with the group of guys.. I know for fact they are not in it for the money!!!!! Iron county would be in the best hands possible!!!!

    • Billy November 13, 2014 at 8:57 am

      so are you for or agaist gold cross?

    • pigknuckle November 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Funny! You must not know the “group of guys”.

    • Matthew Sevald November 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Just Me, I’m confused by your comment’s antecedent-pronoun setup. Are you saying GC is upset w/ Iron County b/c the county wishes to use its own dispatch, or are you saying GC wants to use its own dispatch? (Perhaps those are one and the same, really). Also, which aspect doesn’t work in STG – the police using their own dispatchers or GC using their dispatchers alongside the police? Who are “the group of guys not in it for the money”? And in whose hands would Iron County do best?

  • Zonkerb November 13, 2014 at 3:23 am

    My goodness I was totally shocked when Gold Cross and their Special friends were mentioned in this article. I would of never expected that…..

  • dancing infidel November 13, 2014 at 8:16 am

    A State Senator AND a lawyer representing Gold Cross…..what a blatant conflict of interest!!! Sen. Urqhart doesn’t even try to hide the indiscretion. He flaunts the unethical activity in the residents faces. He needs to be voted out of office next time he comes up for re-election. Corrupt state official= Steve Urqhart.

    • Herd November 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Would it be a conflict of interest a city council member with interests in an ambulance service weighing in on which ambulance service is best for a city?

  • OldArmyVet November 13, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I agree with comments concerning “Sen” Urquhart and conflict of interest. The deal with Gold Cross in St. George was shady from the beginning. And if the citizens of Southern Utah don’t see this for what it really is, a sham, and vote for more responsible, ethical representation, they will continue to get the same back room, corrupt dealings that have been happening. I personally am tired of the arrogance and self serving attitudes of some politicians around. It is embarassing…..

  • rickie November 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    So why don’t we also blame the State EMS Coordinator? They are the ones that issue the licensees. They are also not real ethical.

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