Updated: November 30, 2023
The Hawaiʻi Department of Health announced the cancellation of its Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch’s procurement for Comprehensive Emergency Medical Services for 911 Ground Ambulance Transport for Kauaʻi and Maui Counties, following a protest by the incumbent service provider that was not selected, American Medical Response (AMR).
By upholding the protest and canceling the procurements, the awards to Falck Northwest Corp. are also canceled.
William “Speedy” Bailey, general manager of American Medical Response responded to the news saying, “We believe the Department of Health made the right decision and appreciate the time that they took for the review. We believe we are the best qualified provider of ambulance services for the residents and visitors of Maui and Kauaʻi. As part of a trusted and integrated system of quality health services for the entire State of Hawaiʻi with a proven track record, we welcome the contracting process. This decision ensures the communities of Maui and Kauaʻi uninterrupted access to ambulance services.”
State Director of Health, Dr. Kenneth Fink, reviewed the protest as the head of the purchasing agency. In his decision issued Monday, Director Fink determined that while the Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch may have intended to maintain the current staffing level for advanced life support (ALS) ground ambulances when it issued the Request for Proposals (RFPs), that requirement was not clearly included.
He therefore concluded that this constituted a change in the nature and circumstances of the service being procured, such that a Request for Information (RFI) should have been issued. Finding that the RFIs were improperly waived, Dr. Fink is canceling both RFPs and directing the procurements to start over, including the issuance of an RFI for the services prior to new RFPs being developed.
“Based upon my review of how the RFPs were written regarding ambulance staffing, RFIs should have been completed,” said Director Fink. “However, I’d like to reassure the residents of Kauaʻi and Maui Counties that the next RFPs will be clear that the current ambulance staffing level will be maintained. I am accountable for the department, and I apologize for the uncertainty created by the previous RFPs.”
A new procurement process will commence in the coming weeks. Department officials say current contracts will be extended while the new procurement process is underway to ensure that Maui and Kauaʻi County residents have uninterrupted access to ambulance services.
The City and County of Honolulu and County of Hawaiʻi operate emergency medical ambulance services within their respective counties. DOH contracts for emergency medical ground ambulance services for counties that do not operate or contract for this service.