ROCK ISLAND -- A new level of emergency care transportation will debut this weekend through a partnership between Trinity Regional Health System and Advanced Medical Transport.
Starting today, a different fleet of ambulances able to provide a higher level of service and care for residents of the Blackhawk, Orion and Sherrard fire protection districts formerly served by Trinity Ambulance service will begin responding to 911 calls, according to a Trinity news release.
Advanced Medical Transport is a nationally recognized company that specializes in providing ambulance services for emergency and nonemergency patient transport, the release said. AMT will begin answering911 calls today and add nonemergency transport by early February.
The new service means transported patients will have access to better technology and up-to-date equipment staffed by providers with the most advanced clinical skills, the release stated.
It also will mean higher rates, but those rates are comparable to other ambulance services in the area, said Jay Willsher, Trinity's chief operating officer.
"We discovered we had been undercharging patients when a market analysis was done," said Trinity spokeswoman Erin Lounsberry. "The rates will be $590 for a basic life support transport and $700 for an advanced life support transport, which is in line with what other ambulance and transport services in this area charge.
"They do accept Medicare assignment and third-party insurance," she continued. "AMT also has a financial assistance program to help those without insurance."
Exact numbers weren't available Friday afternoon, but the rate increase is expected to be about 15 percent, she said.
The partnership provides coverage for areas Trinity Ambulance used to cover, Ms. Lounsberry said. Italso enables AMT to provide better back-up coverage for transport or 9-1-1 needs if patient volume dictates.
AMT has additional resources in Peoria, Pekin, Streator, Aledo and Iowa City.
About 50 EMTs, billers and others were involved in Trinity's in-house service, Mr. Willsher said. Of those, about 40 will remain to work with AMT. The rest will transfer to other sections of Trinity or have left for other opportunities.
AMT will use six vehicles to cover the fire protection districts, AMT head Andrew Rand said. The four Trinity ambulances they are replacing also will be held in reserve andused for special events, Mr. Willsher said.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 4, the 338th day of 2013. There are 27 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Within a few weeks the Rock Island Barracks will contain more than 10,000 rebel prisoners, a guard of about 1,500 and a large number of officers. This should bring business to our city. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Corn was selling at 25 cents per bushel in Rock Island county, and the average price of wheat was 80 cents per bushel. 1913 -- 100 years ago: R.G. Hudson and R.H. Dart were elected wardens at Trinity Episcopal Church. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Smiling, baldish, 30-year-old Jimmy Roosevelt reported for work today as movie maker Sam Goldwyn's new hired hand. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Members of the East Moline City Council last night unanimously voted approval of the name of John F. Kennedy Drive for the improved sections of 3rd and 4th streets between 17th Avenue and the south city limits. 1988 -- 25 years ago: A $70,000 fundraising drive is underway to establish a Big Brother/Big Sisters program in the Quad-Cities. Organizers hope to raise funds to begin the nationally affiliated program by March 1.