By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
County considers ambulance monopoly
Placeholder Image
With the loss of ProMed Ambulance Service last month, Warren County officials are now considering cutting out future competition by instituting monopolistic power over the county’s ambulance needs.The discussion was held Monday night during a county Safety Committee meeting.“As I understand the law, each county government is given the right by the state to either run the ambulance service itself or contract that out to someone else,” said Warren County EMS director Brian Jennings.The information regarding monopolistic powers came from Ben Rogers, county government consultant with County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), and Tennessee Annotated Code.“The law provides that the governing body of the county may provide and maintain and do all things necessary to provide ambulance service as a public service,” says Rogers.Challengers have taken other counties to court and have lost. “In my opinion, Tennessee has clearly shown an intent with respect to ambulance services to allow county governments to replace open competition with regulation or monopolistic power,” Rogers said. “Therefore, the refusal to grant a franchise to an ambulance service would not be reviewed by the courts unless a challenger can prove fraud or abuse.”Jennings inquired about the county’s responsibility in providing an ambulance service after ProMed, which was the only privately owned ambulance service company based in Warren County, lost its permit to run an ambulance service in the county.In 2006, county officials passed a resolution that allowed private and nonprofit ambulance services to base in Warren County.