The Hamburg City Council voted Monday to start advertising for bids for ambulance service.

The service, which will be funded by the one-cent sales tax voters approved in September, will need to start in March, when the city’s temporary contract with FAST Ambulance Service runs out, Mayor Dane Weindorf said.

“We need to get started,” Weindorf said, calling the solicitation for bids, “Pretty cut and dry.”

In addition to advertising in newspapers, the mayor said the city would be asking the Arkansas Ambulance Association to supply the email addresses of companies around the state so they could be contacted.

The solicitation as approved by the council was drafted by the city’s ambulance committee, which consists of members of the council and members of the Hamburg business community.

Under the solicitation, the city seeks a minimum bid that will include:

-”One Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance, staffed and equipped to meet the the requirements of an ALS ambulance as defined and regulated by the Arkansas Department of Health to be on duty within the city limits...24 hours per day,” to serve as the primary ambulance for the city.

-A second ALS ambulance, which would be on duty within the city limits within 15 minutes of the primary ambulance’s dispatch.

Under the proposal, the ambulance provider would be responsible for billing customers and receiving revenue, supporting the fire department on calls — including opening fire department bays and reporting to fire scenes — and providing and maintaining all ambulance-related supplies and equipment.

Privately owned ambulance services will be required to maintain a $1 million general liability policy with the city included as an additional named insured. Government- or publicly-owned services would likewise be required to name the city as an additional named insured on their general liability policies.

The solicitation for bids says,however, that the city will provide the ambulance dispatch service through the 911 system, and will provide a space for ambulance service housing within the city’s fire station, which is currently under construction.

The city will likewise provide a refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, beds with mattresses, table, chairs, couches and lounging chairs, as well as utilities and trash pickup. The contract will be met in monthly payments.

The contract, if awarded, will be for a minimum of three years, “to renew automatically for an additional year, except if notice of termination by either party is given before the end of the year prior to the last year.”

It likewise says that, “If the provider fails to perform, the city may purchase substitute performance from time-to-time and reduce the monthly payment to the provider to recoup the cost to the city of the substitute performance.”

When submitting their bids, providers will be required to submit their proposed cost per month to cover the area inside the Hamburg city limits and a proposed cost per month to cover the designated areas outside the city limits.

The deadline for bids will be 10 a.m. Jan. 16.

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