Washington County ends ambulance contract with Metro West

HILLSBORO, OR — Washington County is ending its contract for ambulance services from Metro West on June 30, the county announced last week. The contract has been in place since 1997.

The county cannot make the changes to emergency services it needs under the contract, county officials said.

“We want to make sure our community members have access to the highest quality emergency response resources,” said Washington County Chairwoman Kathryn Harrington. “Our current contract is over 20 years old and does not provide the flexibility to make changes that will modernize our system and improve services.”

Harrington said the county wanted to make several changes, including:

  • Improve the dispatch system so 911 operators can see where ambulances are in real time, allowing them to dispatch the nearest ambulance in an emergency.
  • Allow monitoring of more performance statistics. Currently, Metro West only has to measure response time. The county would also like to measure results among other statistics.
  • The county wants any company awarded the contract to be required to use computerized data with all county emergency services, so they can all measure the quality of response and look for emerging patterns.

The county made the decision after receiving a report from the Washington County Emergency Medical Services Alliance, a board made up of four area fire chiefs and an assistant county administrator. They developed their report in conjunction with the Washington County Emergency Medical Services program.

“A new contract will allow us to implement a modernized EMS system that integrates with our healthcare and emergency partners and provides patient-centered care to members of our community,” said David Downey, President. of the Washington County Emergency Medical Services Alliance and the head of Hillsboro Fire and Rescue.

Metro West is eligible to apply for the new contract.

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