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Floyd County officials approve funding for new EMS contracts

The rear of an ambulance.
New contracts for EMS service in Floyd County will cost around $780,000 through the end of 2024.

The Floyd County Council approved funding this week for EMS services through the end of 2024.

The Floyd County Council voted 5-2 during a meeting Wednesday to fund contracts through the end of the year with AmeriPro Health and the Highlander Fire Protection District for EMS services.

Floyd County Commissioners recently approved the new contracts through the end of 2026, after months of discussion with council members.

The council’s vote this week to fund services through the end of the year came days before the expiration of the current contract with New Chapel EMS. Officials rejected a bid from New Chapel for a new contract earlier this year, in part because the organization did not provide complete financial information.

This comes after the arrest of the former leader of that nonprofit, Jamey Noel. He’s facing 25 felonies related to his time leading New Chapel and as Clark County Sheriff. New Chapel did not have access to all of the organization’s financial information when bids were submitted, as much of it was tied up in the Indiana State Police investigation of Noel. He led New Chapel until January of this year.

The contracts, which go into effect Saturday, put AmeriPro as the primary provider through the end of 2024, covering all of Floyd County outside of New Albany. The city is already under a separate contract with AmeriPro.

Highlander will be the secondary provider this year within their district, as they prepare to amp up staffing and other needs.

In 2025 and 2026, AmeriPro will provide service to Georgetown, New Albany and Franklin townships. Highlander will be the primary provider in their district, which includes Greenville and Lafayette townships.

The cost for the next seven months is just over $780,000.

The biggest chunk comes from a $500,000 one-time grant from the Floyd County Legacy Foundation. Another $150,759 comes from the last of proceeds from the sale of the former Floyd Memorial Hospital.

The council is also using the remaining EMS budgeted allotment for the year — around $128,000. This, and the remaining $1,614, come from the county’s interest fund.

Council President Danny Short and Connie Moon voted against the motion to fund the contracts. Short told LPM News he feels Highlander’s contract lacks protections for the county if services fall short.

“They are brand new,” he said. “We do not know how they're going to perform, but we’ve just guaranteed them two years and seven months.”

Highlander’s contract states that if the commissioners cancel the contract, the county is still responsible for paying through 2026. If Highlander cancels or there is a mutual agreement to end it, the parties will have no further contractual obligations.

AmeriPro’s contract stipulates monthly evaluations for the first six months, and quarterly after that. There is also a clause for monetary deductions or the potential to terminate the agreement based on run times.

Highlander’s contract includes monthly reports to county officials for EMS response times compliance, total runs and locations of transports. Other reports will be provided on an annual or semiannual basis.

Council member Brad Striegel said in the meeting this was a “good opportunity for fire-based EMS to shine in our community.”

“For colleagues that may not have been able to get behind it, just keep an open mind and hopefully we'll be able to see this work for the community and a place to build from this for years to come,” he said.

The total for the two contracts through the end of 2026 is around $3.5 million. The council has not yet decided on how to fund coverage over the next two years.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc., the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation, and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County. 

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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