FEMA National Ambulance Contract

Kevinf

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Is anyone's agency part of this program? My companies president said he was interested in becoming a FEMA contractor and asked me to look into it. You guys are the best resource I know to get information about this sort of thing :cool:

This is in Pennsylvania, if you have any insight or need more information from me shoot me a message or post here. Thanks!
 

DesertMedic66

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AMR has the main actual FEMA contract but in order to supply all the needed resources they subcontact out to companies. They used to have a form online for other companies to fill out if they wanted to become a subcontractor. I’ll see tomorrow if I can find it.
 

DrParasite

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DrParasite

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I'm curious about how this works. According to https://www.amr.net/solutions/federal-disaster-response-team/recent-emergency-responses, AMR's teams have been to several disasters. For example,

Fast Facts: California Wildfires
  • Deployed October 12 – October 19, 2017
  • FEMA contracted EMS in the state of California
  • 114 ground ambulances deployed (75% ALS, 25% BLS)
  • 15 paratransit vehicles deployed

Does this mean that AMR provided 114 ground ambulances? Or they subcontracted to get 114 ambulances to local companies, and took credit for all the crews hard work?

If AMR couldn't do it all themselves (and I don't think anyone else could have without subcontracting either), and still got the contract, what would stop "drparasite's disaster EMS service" from getting the contract next year, and subcontracting it to local systems (as well as to AMR)?

Do crews get paid based on FEMA set salaries, their company's salary rates, their company's OT rates, AMR's payrates, or does AMR get paid a set amount from fema, they take a cut and then give the rest to the ambulance company? Do volunteer EMS personnel get paid when they are deployed? Are they paid from departure to return, or just during their 12 hour operational period?

The questions that always come up when it comes to things like this (NJ's EMS task force is a similar venture) 1) do you have the staffing and equipment to lose multiple ambulances and personnel for a week or greater at a time 2) what training (other than basic EMS stuff) is included in this, for disaster operations 3) who pays for the crews to receive said training 4) how often is said training provided (because people will leave, and new people will want to get involved) 5) when people are deployed, their positions are usually backfilled with OT; is your management ok with that?

Personally, I think it's a great selling point, great PR, and it helps those in need (and is different than your routine EMS shifts). And it's great experience that you won't always get at your local response area. But with the NJ EMS task force, when it first started, had paramedics from two agencies in NJ; so when there was an activation, both those agencies were decimated, and had major staffing issues because their senior crews were deployed. They have since expanded their roster to include many others. Make sure your agency can handle that temporary lost of a large group of personnel for a week or more.
 

DesertMedic66

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I'm curious about how this works. According to https://www.amr.net/solutions/federal-disaster-response-team/recent-emergency-responses, AMR's teams have been to several disasters. For example,

Fast Facts: California Wildfires
  • Deployed October 12 – October 19, 2017
  • FEMA contracted EMS in the state of California
  • 114 ground ambulances deployed (75% ALS, 25% BLS)
  • 15 paratransit vehicles deployed

Does this mean that AMR provided 114 ground ambulances? Or they subcontracted to get 114 ambulances to local companies, and took credit for all the crews hard work?

If AMR couldn't do it all themselves (and I don't think anyone else could have without subcontracting either), and still got the contract, what would stop "drparasite's disaster EMS service" from getting the contract next year, and subcontracting it to local systems (as well as to AMR)?

Do crews get paid based on FEMA set salaries, their company's salary rates, their company's OT rates, AMR's payrates, or does AMR get paid a set amount from fema, they take a cut and then give the rest to the ambulance company? Do volunteer EMS personnel get paid when they are deployed? Are they paid from departure to return, or just during their 12 hour operational period?

The questions that always come up when it comes to things like this (NJ's EMS task force is a similar venture) 1) do you have the staffing and equipment to lose multiple ambulances and personnel for a week or greater at a time 2) what training (other than basic EMS stuff) is included in this, for disaster operations 3) who pays for the crews to receive said training 4) how often is said training provided (because people will leave, and new people will want to get involved) 5) when people are deployed, their positions are usually backfilled with OT; is your management ok with that?
AMR has had the contract for many many years now and has a lot of activations. Due to the contract AMR has created an OEM (office of emergency management) team. In addition AMR also has a massive stockpile of ambulances that are dedicated for disaster only use that are fully stocked and operationally ready at all times. All of those resources are what will allow AMR to keep the contract.

The 114 ambulances (that’s actually on the smaller side of a deployment) are a mix of AMR crews and the subcontractors.

AMR gets a set amount of money from FEMA when activated (based off of how many resources we are using or were requested).

Pay for AMR employees is based off of the national average so back in 2012 I was making around $11 per average but on deployment I made a base rate of $16-17 with overtime after 40 hours. We also get paid from the time we get activated until we get home. So if you are gone for 21 days 6 hours 15 minutes, you get paid for that exact amount of time. As far as subcontracting goes I am not sure.

@exodus may have more up to date information since he has been on 2-3 deployments in the past 2 years. Also congrats on the new baby
 

Tigger

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I'm curious about how this works. According to https://www.amr.net/solutions/federal-disaster-response-team/recent-emergency-responses, AMR's teams have been to several disasters. For example,

Fast Facts: California Wildfires
  • Deployed October 12 – October 19, 2017
  • FEMA contracted EMS in the state of California
  • 114 ground ambulances deployed (75% ALS, 25% BLS)
  • 15 paratransit vehicles deployed

Does this mean that AMR provided 114 ground ambulances? Or they subcontracted to get 114 ambulances to local companies, and took credit for all the crews hard work?
Could be a mix. AMR has several depots of deployment spread around the country and they will fly folks from operations everywhere to staff them. Subcontractors drive their units to the incident. I don't know if you call it "taking credit," we are very aware that we are an AMR subcontractor on these events.

If AMR couldn't do it all themselves (and I don't think anyone else could have without subcontracting either), and still got the contract, what would stop "drparasite's disaster EMS service" from getting the contract next year, and subcontracting it to local systems (as well as to AMR)?
I'm not sure any company has the ability to rapidly move resources around like AMR does. Yes they subcontract, but the majority of the crews come from AMR and they can get them there a lot faster. If you relied on subcontractors exclusively, you'd have drive time to the incident which could be extensive. It'll take my agency a long time to get to Florida. Meanwhile if you are on AMR's DRT, they call and give you a few hours notice to be at base and head to the airport.

Do crews get paid based on FEMA set salaries, their company's salary rates, their company's OT rates, AMR's payrates, or does AMR get paid a set amount from fema, they take a cut and then give the rest to the ambulance company? Do volunteer EMS personnel get paid when they are deployed? Are they paid from departure to return, or just during their 12 hour operational period?
My understanding is that AMR pays subcontractors what amounts to a daily rate. What the individual agencies pay their providers is up to them. Our deployment rate is a bit higher than the regular rate. Everyone gets paid from portal to portal.

The questions that always come up when it comes to things like this (NJ's EMS task force is a similar venture) 1) do you have the staffing and equipment to lose multiple ambulances and personnel for a week or greater at a time 2) what training (other than basic EMS stuff) is included in this, for disaster operations 3) who pays for the crews to receive said training 4) how often is said training provided (because people will leave, and new people will want to get involved) 5) when people are deployed, their positions are usually backfilled with OT; is your management ok with that?
We will not deploy when there are open shifts already not filled on the calendar. Right now the magic number seems to be two open 24s per week and it's a no go. Currently we have a shift staffing of five so we don't deploy very often...
As for training, it's minimal for the ambulance crews. AMR requires ICS 1/2/7/800, some sort of hazmat awareness, and up to date immunizations and that's about it. The whole idea with deployments is to utilize ICS so really the grunt crews do not need a whole lot of extra training. As for backfill, the payout from AMR is enough to cover that at OT as well. Our last deployment was a single ambulance for six days, we made $8k after paying the crew and the people backfilling.

Personally, I think it's a great selling point, great PR, and it helps those in need (and is different than your routine EMS shifts). And it's great experience that you won't always get at your local response area. But with the NJ EMS task force, when it first started, had paramedics from two agencies in NJ; so when there was an activation, both those agencies were decimated, and had major staffing issues because their senior crews were deployed. They have since expanded their roster to include many others. Make sure your agency can handle that temporary lost of a large group of personnel for a week or more.
Single ambulance deployments are very common for subcontractors.
 

Chimpie

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AMR was deployed to my shelter in Florida in mid October. In addition to an actual AMR ambulance, a couple of older, (I think they were) private ambulances were in the parking lot as well. All had FEMA signage in their window. So I guess they were subcontractors.

Note: I was part of the Incident Management Team (IMT) so I really didn't have a chance to talk with the crews that much. However, they all were great to work with and helped us out with whatever we asked of them.
 

akflightmedic

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Government Contracts...for the past few years has been all about IDIQ awards. Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ). With the world changing how it has the government contracting world has adapted and changed their bidding process and award process. Its actually very smart. The logic is "we know we will have need for this, but we do not know when or how much"...so with that in mind, they develop contracts of several years duration, have companies capable of delivering, pre-vet them and award them.

Stating up Dr. Ps company to take a contract from AMR would be exceptionally difficult without sheer size, volume, and processes in place. There are strict guidelines AMR has to follow and these clauses also flow down to their subcontractors. This is called the FAR.

These contracts are never awarded with the thought that the single winner would do it all, cause both the winner and the government know it is impossible. What they seek is a single point of contact who can do most of the work and find the rest.

The bulk of the work in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other places...this is how it all operates. KBR for example had the IRAQ contract for years and years...however they had literally many 100s if not more sub-contractors. There is enough pie for everyone to enjoy at the table, the smaller subs are quite happy with their cut. If you find yourself in less than ideal accommodations, short on supplies or being paid less than others...then that is on the sub as they are doing what they think is best/right to maximize their profit. You can complain, however you will be bounced from the contract faster than you can say lickity split.
 

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