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 Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line. 1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements. 1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.