American Medical Response, a medical transportation and mobile health-care provider, says it will lay off 152 employees in the Philadelphia area next year in response to the end of a contract with Main Line Health, according to a spokesperson for the company.
“We very much want to keep these first responders working onboard local ambulances,” a spokesperson for American Medical Response said in a statement.
AMR served Main Line Health for six years and has over 200 full-time and part-time first responders in the Philadelphia area, according to the spokesperson.
First responders will be laid off in three waves, which will take place Jan. 18, Feb. 19 and April 18, according to documents shared with the state’s department of labor and industry. Affected employees include EMTs, EMS students, paramedics, and nurses, among others.
AMR, which was founded in 1992, is part of Global Medical Response, a company with over 38,000 employees that provides medical services and transportation, according to the company’s website. The company’s work includes wildland firefighting, and helicopter ambulance services.
Despite the layoffs, AMR’s team will continue to serve Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, confirmed the company’s spokesperson.
Ambulnz, a mobile medical service and transportation provider, and a subsidiary of DocGo, has an agreement to deliver emergency transportation services to Main Line Health hospitals in the Philadelphia region for three years, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The agreement was announced last month, and the company estimates that it will provide transportation to more than 12,000 Main Line Health patients annually with an initial fleet of 10 ambulances and eight wheelchair vans. Ambulnz, which launched in California in 2016, has provided services in more than 26 states and has plans to continue expanding, according to the company’s website. The company began providing services to Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in 2019.
AMR will offer employees relocation allowances to transfer to another position within the company and will host a job fair to connect employees with other local EMS agencies, according to a company spokesperson.
The end of AMR’s contract with Main Line Health comes as insiders have recently said more money is needed to fund EMS agencies in the state. As of August, three EMS agencies had closed in the last three months in Pennsylvania.
Earlier this year, Heather Sharar, executive director of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania, told The Inquirer that “EMS is dying.”
“How long can you exist if no one is paying you the cost for your service?” Sharar said.