First Call Ambulance Service buys Ohio company
Nashville-based First Call Ambulance Service has bought an Ohio-based ambulance operator, EMT Inc., for an undisclosed sum, according to a news release. The move is the latest in a string of acquisitions by First Call, and the first for the company outside Tennessee or Mississippi.see more
The addition of EMT Inc. will increase the First Call fleet by more than 100 vehicles. With the addition, First Call expects to provide more than 250,000 patient transports annually, through operation of nearly 250 vehicles in 17 locations across Tennessee, Mississippi and Ohio.
Last fall, First Call CFO Joshua Jarrett told the Nashville Business Journal that uncompensated care is one of First Call’s largest expenses. The recent activity could be a sign that the company, like the health care provider facilities it partners with, is gearing up for a wave of newly insured patients.
The following are excerpts from the news release:
“EMT, Inc. is a great fit for our organization because our company cultures are both focused on patient safety and quality care, and exceptional customer service. We will build on the foundation and reputation that EMT, Inc. has earned in Ohio, and we welcome new colleagues who are motivated to meet the highest standards in the industry,” said Mike Ross, Chief Executive Officer of First Call. “We also look forward to delivering our services to more healthcare providers in new markets. This addition is a strategic growth move that enables us to expand, develop new partnerships, and bring superior transport and patient care to both rural communities and large metropolitan areas.”
EMT, Inc. has operated as a private ambulance company serving the Greater Miami Valley and Tri-State/Cincinnati area since 1995, providing Advanced Life Support (ALS), Basic Life Support (BLS) and ambulette (wheelchair van) services for both emergency and non-emergency patients. EMT, Inc. has four serving 17 counties in Ohio.
The geographic position of EMT, Inc. presents opportunities for growth in heavily populated markets like Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville, and other cities in the region, said Ross.
There will be little to no impact on existing EMT, Inc. customers during the transition, and First Call executives have committed to the highest level of patient care and ongoing service improvements, such as response times and availability.
Already a market leader in employee development, First Call will also bring enhanced clinical training and certification for EMT, Inc. medical staff and the most sophisticated medical equipment available in the clinical transport industry. Every First Call vehicle is staffed by a team of licensed, trained personnel who care for patients with integrity, accountability, and professionalism.
First Call will also expand its administrative expertise by maintaining compliance and regulatory standards specific to new payer relationships, including Ohio Medicaid.
The EMT, Inc. acquisition is the latest in a series of recent growth moves for First Call. Last October First Call purchased Allied EMS, another private ambulance provider in Newport and Morristown, Tenn., and landed an agreement with Cocke County, Tenn. to provide 9-1-1 services. In addition, First Call acquired the assets of Magnum EMS in September and Medic Ambulance Company in February, operating primarily in the Newport and Memphis, Tenn. markets, respectively.
To support First Call’s growth plans, the company has already launched a recruiting effort in Ohio seeking qualified individuals for well-paying positions.
EMT, Inc. will continue operating under its existing name and brand in the Ohio markets where it has a strong presence. Ernest Hatmaker, Jr., CEO and co-founder of EMT, Inc., will remain involved in the day-to-day business of the Ohio operations and help implement First Call’s patient-centric, customer-focused business model.