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February 10 2016

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Overview of our Market Integration Approach

I know how important communication is during a time of change, so I want to take this opportunity to address your most frequent questions within this newsletter. Many of the questions concern the timing of technology and brand changes and how it will affect you and your operation.

My goal in the transition is to make it as easy as possible for the operations and the integration team. The team has developed an approach that supports a “complete transition.” This means we will take 2-3 markets at a time and do a “complete transition” of vehicle branding, marketing materials, call center intake identification and uniforms. The brand transition will take a few weeks in each market. We will complete the branding in one market before moving to the next. Business Units receiving technology changes will be supported by different teams than the branding group, so technology changes may occur at different times for the market.

Our approach and timing will vary by market because each market is unique and has unique requirements. We will share transition information on a market-by-market basis. We promise to provide information in advance and during your market’s assigned transition time.

Below are two specific questions we are getting from the front-line. I hope the information below helps you to understand our approach and next steps.

  • Will the brand in my market change?
    Some of our contracts dictate branding requirements, so we will not rebrand all operations. However, we do plan to transition the majority of our Rural/Metro EMS operations to the AMR brand over the next year.

    We plan to utilize our fleet refurb center in Las Vegas to upgrade and rebrand many of the Rural/Metro vehicles. We are also exploring opportunities to open another refurb center in the Phoenix area to help us manage the volume of work. Additionally, we will be purchasing hundreds of new ambulances within Rural/Metro operations this year. We plan to focus on a few markets at one time to minimize the period we run as a mixed fleet in a market.

    We will also make changes to branding at the Scottsdale office. We intend to add the AMR logo to the Rural/Metro name and Fire Service logo on the Scottsdale building. All Rural/Metro Fire operations will continue to operate under the Rural/Metro name, and we do not intend to make changes to the Rural/Metro Fire name in the near future.
 
  • When will I see new technology that makes it easier to do my job and serve my community?
    It will take months, and even years in some cases, to integrate all of the Rural/Metro markets. Our integration team is focusing on two key technology systems at this point in the integration. AMR uses a system called Multi EMS Data System (MEDS) to create electronic patient care reports (ePCR). Some of our contracts dictate certain technology requirements, so we cannot implement MEDS in all operations. During the next two years, we intend to implement MEDS across our operations where permissible.

    We will be replacing the Toughbook computers with Microsoft Surface tablets so our EMTs and paramedics can enjoy the benefits of our ePCR on lighter, more mobile devices. MEDS is a proprietary ePCR system that was designed and developed to meet the needs of our unique business. The technology system reduces the amount of paperwork for paramedics and EMTs, generates more reports that are accurate and simplifies the transfer of information to our billing team. MEDS will eliminate much of the administrative burden you deal with day-to-day.

    As a former paramedic, I also know it is important that the ambulance be stocked with the proper supplies and equipment. Early in the integration, we will be transitioning to the Verian system for ordering supplies, including medical and office supplies. To support Verian, we will also issue handheld scanners to help us track the usage of supplies so we can better forecast the procedures and inventory needs of each market. Verian will help us plan for variances, so we have the right quantity of supplies and equipment available to each market. Verian is a priority for our integration team, so we intend to start implementing this system in several Rural/Metro markets this quarter.

I want to reiterate that these answers may vary market-by-market, but I want each of you to know the direction we are heading. The three Regional CEOs will be communicating the specific changes and dates to each market at the appropriate time. You can find additional information by accessing the frequently asked question (FAQ) link below.

AMR Integration Planning Portal Page - Credentials Required

Rural/Metro Portal Page - Credentials Required
 

Thank you again for all you do each day to care for our patients and communities.

Ted Van Horne
AMR President & CEO