FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The company who provides paramedics for Three Rivers Ambulance Authority has a month to improve its performance after TRAA’s board found it to be in “major default” of its contract.

TRAA’s board voted Thursday to find its contractor, Paramedics Logistics, in major default of their contract. Paramedics Logistics has been contracted by TRAA since 2009 to provide paramedics and EMT personnel to handle daily operations.

For 20 consecutive months, response times by TRAA ambulances have fallen well short of required standards.

From TRAA:

During 2022 they have averaged Priority 1 compliance of 72.75%, far below the required standard of 90%. Priority 1 runs are high acuity runs including strokes, heart attacks, difficulty breathing, and major trauma. They require having an ambulance on scene within 8 ½ minutes. Paramedics Logistics has also required assistance more than 1,000 times this year alone from outside organizations to provide emergency coverage for our community.

“We have been very careful over the last few months to not cause a situation where patient care is compromised and have been working with the contractor to maintain coverage while seeking resolution,” said Joel Benz, TRAA’s executive director.

To remedy the ongoing issues, TRAA’s board has worked to make “major operational changes.” TRAA is working to take over “daily operation” from Paramedics Logistics, according to a news release, and it will utilize chase vehicles. TRAA will also implement a “tiered system,” the release said.

“Providing direct oversight of operations would allow the Authority to more quickly resolve the compliancy issue while providing for the long-term sustainability of TRAA,” the release said.

TRAA’s board has given Paramedics Logistics 30 days to resolve its non-compliance.

“Our community deserves the absolute best from Three Rivers Ambulance Authority,” said Rachel Guin, President of the TRAA Board of Directors. “This step creates a direct path toward better and more reliable service. We owe it to our community to create a long-term solution that improves public safety, provides more accountability, and resolves the issues that put us in this position.”