CHESHIRE — The Town Council on Tuesday night appointed an emergency medical services consultant to provide expertise while town leaders consider changes to ambulance service.
Cheshire officials have complained about a lack of communication from Campion Ambulance Service, Inc. while in the midst of contract negotiations. The existing agreement expired late last year, but the council extended it into this month.
The council unanimously voted to waive the bid requirement for hiring a consultant and chose The Holdsworth Group of Cromwell for $25,000. The company will “conduct a comprehensive evaluation of our current emergency medical services delivery, propose options for a successor EMS delivery model and advise the town,” according to a letter from Town Manager Sean Kimball.
Town staff interviewed two consultants and recommended The Holdsworth Group.
Council chairman Rob Oris, a Republican, said emergency services is critical to residents and that the consultants’ help was needed quickly.
“Public safety, from a timing perspective, deserves it,” he said. “This waiver allows us to expedite the process.”
Paul Bowman, council vice chairman and a Republican, said ambulance contracts are unique and that he can’t remember the town going through the normal bid process for such consulting services.
“The Holdsworth Group provides a specialty service,” he said.
Town leaders said earlier this year that the ambulance company hadn’t responded to their requests for information, such as how much it would cost to add an ambulance to town.
Campion's contract requires the company to respond to 95 percent of calls within a specified time. The company wanted to decrease the percentage to 90 percent in the next contract.
William Campion, president of the Waterbury-based ambulance company, said in March that he was confident that his company and the town would be able to work out a contract. He said that his company and Fire Chief Jack Casner have a good working relationship.