R/M ambulance service has new name

Rural Metro ambulances now have a new look and a new name.

AMR Rural Metro, emergency medical services provider for Knox County, announced during an unveiling at its Hardin Valley office Thursday, Dec. 8, that it officially has changed the ambulance service’s name to AMR.

The change reflects the acquisition of Rural Metro by Amer-ican Medical Responses Inc. Oct. 26, 2015.

“It’s an exciting day,” Chris Blach, AMR regional director, said. “AMR is committed to providing high-quality care to our patients and outstanding service to our healthcare providers.

“The change from Rural Metro to AMR reflects our commitment to excellence by maximizing the resources of a national company while focusing on the needs of the community.”

“It is certainly an exciting day for AMR,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said. “We hope all the fire and emergency folks never have to call on our families but we feel safer knowing AMR Rural Metro fire truck or an AMR ambulance will be there to help.

“Knox County is happy to have AMR as a partner, providing life-saving care. Men and women who work for AMR are members of our community.

“They work here, they live here, they are our families and they, along with AMR, are dedicated to making these critical services even better,” he said.

“I think it will make a difference to [Rural Metro] because it will give them the corporate name across the country,” Knox County Commissioner Ed Brantley said.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Rural Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish said about the new ambulances. “I love the art and I like the color scheme. It does make the ambulances more visible and more easily identified with the organization.

“I have to say the past year has been the best operationally and it also has been the best year we’ve had in terms of support from the larger organization.”

When Rural Metro decided to change the name to the national brand, it met with Knox County Mayor’s Office to make sure it was OK with the change, and Knox County government approved that change, Blach said.

“These are good people who have shown me they’re dedicated to making this critical service even better. I applaud that,” Burchett said.

“AMR’s parent corporation, Envision Healthcare, is a publicly held company, so it had to get FTC approval,” Blach said. “Once it got that, we purchased Rural Metro.”

However, Knox County’s contact for ambulance remains with Rural Metro of Tennessee. The name change is for operational purposes only.

One of the features of the new ambulances is the installation of MEDS, a state-of-the-art electronic patient care-charting device. Blach said these devices would provide better patient care reports to healthcare partners, better quality controls and it would improve patient outcomes.

Right now, there are three new ambulances in the fleet, but Blach said, “We generally get between 10 to 12 new ambulances each year.

“AMR’s goal is not only to provide high-quality performance of 911 service, it is also to improve the well-being of the communities and patients we serve,” he said. “As Knox County’s strategic partner, we are committed to providing innovative services that meet the needs of the community.”