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Township Council OKs 5-Year Deal with GT EMS Alliance

Council welcomes a "whole new" Gloucester Township EMS Alliance with a five-year contract.

Township Council OKs 5-Year Deal with GT EMS Alliance

Gloucester Township Council unanimously approved a five-year contract agreement between the township and Gloucester Township EMS Alliance during its year-end meeting Thursday night.

The contract goes into effect at 6 p.m. Monday.

While GT EMS Alliance was the lone entity to bid for the contract, township officials, including Council President Glen Bianchini, expressed confidence in the new group leading the now-Blackwood-based nonprofit emergency-medical services organization.

"We went over quite a bit of information with the new board representatives, from financials to operational issues to how they were going to conduct business in our township," Bianchini said of a series of meetings with the GT EMS Alliance board. "They were very to the point—very well-versed on what needs to be done. They're very well-represented with what I call seasoned veterans in that area of service."

The new GT EMS Alliance board of directors is President Ray Currey Jr., Vice President Ian Roberts, Secretary Rich Cummings and Treasurer Jim Wintrode.

The new chief is Mark Kramer, a retired Winslow Township police officer who has been an EMT for nearly 25 years.

Currey, Cummings and Kramer attended Thursday's meeting. Currey is a Runnemede resident who lived in Gloucester Township for 23 years. Cummings and Kramer are Erial residents.

GT EMS Alliance currently has 18 full-time EMTs and 15 part-time EMTs, Currey said. It will provide two ambulances around the clock seven days a week and a third ambulance Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. under the contract.

GT EMS Alliance will not charge the township to provide EMS services under the proposal, but will instead bill patients it treats and transports.

GT EMS Alliance has actually been running a third ambulance in the township during peak hours (weekdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) since Thanksgiving.

Kennedy Health System, which took over ambulance services in late June when the township banished Erial-based GT EMS Alliance, notified the township in mid-November it was pulling the third ambulance. The health system opted to not bid for the 2013 EMS contract with the township.

At its July 2 meeting, Council received an extensive report from Gloucester Township Police Chief W. Harry Earle outlining a series of violations found by state health officials at GT EMS Alliance's Erial station house on June 26—an inspection that resulted in the state temporarily shutting down GT EMS Alliance.

The inspection found that five GT EMS Alliance ambulances and an SUV were not registered, with two ambulances also not inspected. There also were several equipment and supply deficiencies found on the vehicles.

"It's a whole new organization," Township Solicitor David Carlamere said of GT EMS Alliance's leadership moving into 2013. "We've spent several meetings with them reviewing their proposal, their ability to meet the requirements. ... I think we were all well-satisfied, and I've represented such to Council, that this Gloucester Township EMS Alliance new organization is well-qualified and capable of meeting the demands that we set forth."

Carlamere noted the township could immediately terminate its contract with GT EMS Alliance if, among other things, the outfit's state license or its participation in Medicare or Medicaid are suspended, curtailed or revoked.

Check back with Gloucester Township Patch for comments from Currey and Kramer on the future of GT EMS Alliance.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article, as published at 6 a.m. Dec. 28, 2012, incorrectly indicated Gloucester Township EMS Alliance is based out of Erial. The nonprofit organization has moved its office to Blackwood.

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