By DON McINTOSH
Washington County Commissioners voted Feb. 21 to end their decades-long relationship with MetroWest Ambulance and instead sign a contract with American Medical Response (AMR) to provide ambulance service in the county starting July 1. The vote followed a recommendation from a panel that included representatives from local fire departments, hospitals, dispatchers and emergency medical staff.
Teamster-represented AMR workers provide ambulance service in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Clark counties. AMR has pledged to hire the roughly 100 paramedics and EMTs working for MetroWest in Washington County.
Teamsters leaders stopped short of endorsing AMR’s bid, because the company refused to commit to stay neutral if its new employees campaign to unionize. But compared with MetroWest, a local company with a long history of fighting unionization, AMR is seen by union supporters as a clear improvement.