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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sanford-Millican plan already a success?



LEALMAN -- Some may have thought Tuesday's County Commission vote to retain the private ambulance company was a defeat for Jim Millican and Scott Sanford, the two firefighters who authored a proposal to have firefighter/paramedics take patients to the hospital.

The two fought long and hard to have the commission adopt their plan rather than extend the contract with Paramedics Plus. Although several Pinellas commissioners were receptive to the plan, they went ahead and renewed the ambulance contract for another two years with the possibility of a one-year extension. That was less than the three-year renewal the contract called for. Paramedics Plus agreed to give up $6 million in income in return for the renewal.

But success and failure depend upon your point of view, or the spin you place on it.

The day after the vote, Millican sent out an email that explained it all: "In a surprising turn of events, the concept of fire transport saved Pinellas taxpayers $6, million over the next three years before the first ride to the hospital. (Ok - that’s a bit of an exaggeration but not too terribly much.)"

 -- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Friday, December 23, 2011 10:31am]


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