Need the 411 on 911? Rural/Metro's got it. The ambulance service provider offers 911 emergency response services, as well as non-emergency ambulance transport, under contracts with cities (and other local government entities), hospitals, and nursing homes countrywide. It gets paid by commercial insurers, government programs, and individuals who use its services; sometimes, in communities with a high rate of uninsured residents, it negotiates subsidies with the contracting city or county government. To a lesser extent, Rural/Metro offers firefighting services to rural property owners, airports, and industrial complexes. The firm is owned by private-equity firm Warburg Pincus.
Rural/Metro provides its services to about 700 communities in more than 20 states throughout the US. It is the exclusive provider of 911 emergency ambulance services through some 90 national contracts. General transport and 911 ambulance services account for most of Rural/Metro's business. Its ambulance services are broken into two levels: Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS). ALS ambulances are staffed with paramedics and EMTs, while BLS ambulances are staffed with just EMTs.
Change in Company Type
Warburg Pincus bought Rural/Metro in 2011 for $438 million in cash, giving Rural/Metro backing from the one of the country's largest investment firms. The going-private transaction helped Rural/Metro fund its organic and strategic growth plans.
Rural/Metro is focused on building its core business by pursuing new emergency services contracts with local governments, large hospital systems and networks, and community and private fire protection services. It also strives to use existing 911 contracts to become a preferred provider of non-emergency transport to nursing homes and other health care facilities. The company seeks to secure Medicare and Medicaid contracts and commercial contracts -- such as those it has had with hospital giant HCA and Port Columbus International Airport.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Along with growing organically through contractual agreements, Rural/Metro expands through select acquisitions, such as the late 2011 purchase of PMT Ambulance, which helped Rural/Metro consolidate its position in the Phoenix market. The previous year, the company acquired TransCare of Kentucky from St. Elizabeth Healthcare. TransCare provides 24-hour basic life support and advanced life support ambulance transportation to move patients to and from hospitals and medical testing for treatment facilities such as long-term care centers and residences. The buy expanded Rural/Metro's presence throughout northern Kentucky.
Rural/Metro also bought Pridemark Paramedic Services in metro Denver and Boulder, Colorado, that year. Pridemark provides 24-hour advanced life support and basic life support ambulance services under 911 contracts throughout the Boulder area. The company also provides non-emergency ambulance services to health care facilities throughout Denver and Boulder County. – less