Pictured: Seminole County Commissioners Darius Culverson, left, and Sheila Williams, right, stand with Survival Flight EMS Rep. Dustin Ward and Director of Business Development Harold Newton
Seminole County has selected Survival Flight Emergency EMS as its next emergency services provider .
Survival Flight EMS plans to employ all current staff members and finalize taking over the county no later than May 1, 2024.
Seminole County privatized their Emergency Medical Services on June 1, 2014. Beginning the privatized service was Community Ambulance, followed by Grady EMS, who is still currently operating in the county. However, on August 30, 2023, Grady EMS notified County Manager Paula Granger they planned to exit the county and not renew their upcoming annual contract.
On November 18, 2023 a request for proposals was issued across the state of Georgia and resulted in five outstanding companies responding. Bids were opened on December 19, 2023 for operating two full time advanced life support (ALS) 911 ambulances for an annual call volume of approximately 620 calls. Interviews were held on January 8, 2024. Each company was given a battery of questions from an expert panel consisting of three former EMS paramedics, Mr. Randy Williams, Mrs. Anne Rice, and Mr. Tracy Horne, who were tasked with getting answers on every aspect of running a quality, professional, and fully staffed operation. Representatives from 911, EMS, Donalsonville Hospital, and the Board of Commissioners listened and learned as the process continued throughout the day. At the conclusion of the interviews, it was evident the decision would take much consideration to determine the best candidate for our citizens.
Following the interviews, additional meetings were held on January 23 with the top two contenders, AmeriPro and Survival Flight EMS. On Friday, January 26 the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to select Survival Flight EMS as the new provider.
This decision is one of the top priorities the Board of Commissioners is faced with every year. County Manager Granger stated she was pleased with all of the proposals and the professionalism shown during the interview process, and leading up to the final vote. “We feel confident our citizens will be more at ease with two full time trucks 24/7. One ambulance will be staged at the Lakeside Annex and the other will be at the main office in Donalsonville.”
Survival Flight EMS currently operates helicopters for “qualified medical emergencies” in Seminole County and other surrounding counties. This additional benefit is another positive move for providing the best services that can be offered.
Other companies submitting bids were Amerimed, American Transport, and Gold Star.
Survival Flight EMS is a privately held corporation headquartered in Chandler, AZ. The parent corporation operates several EMS related organizations. The company initially started as a Helicopter EMS operation. It now has 23 helicopters operations in seven states. SFI was incorporated in 2010.
SFI EMS operates only in the EMS sector and dedicates all 500 employees to this dynamic industry.
The core focus of SFI EMS is customer service. SFI EMS works with every patient in a way that makes the patient feel valued and respected which results in happy patients. SFI E M S also focuses on client customer service through regular on-site meetings. SFI’s EMS Client Relations Department and the 1-800 number provide to SFI clients for direct access to SFI EMS customer relations.
SFI was founded by an aviation EMS helicopter mechanic and is currently run by dedicated air (flight nurses and paramedics), ground (critical care paramedics)communications (emergency medical dispatch) professionals and support staff. EMS operations is the foundation of the organization from which strong practices, compliance, and software have grown to round out the skills.