Bids for Ashe County ambulance service were opened in a public meeting Friday.
Two bids were submitted, one from Blue Ridge Medical Transport, one from Ashe Medics.
Bids were for operating two ambulances on a six-year contract, with an alternate bid for a third ambulance. The contractors were required to give a bid bond of five percent of the first year’s contract.
Blue Ridge Medical transport, who has held the ambulance service contract in Ashe since 1994, submitted a bid of $4,515,428.77, with an alternate bid of $225,000.
Ashe Medics submitted a bid of $4,232,961 with an alternate bid of $299,192.
“Ambulance service is critical,” said Ashe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patty Gambill.
“You want to ensure each of your bidders meets RFP (request for proposal) standards so you get quality service,” Gambill said.
A lot of people ask why the county doesn’t run its own ambulance service, she said. The answer is that equipment and labor costs would be prohibitive.
“Fair labor standards are different for government and private business,” she said. “Calculations show it would cost $1 million just in salaries.”