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Canadian company takes over Baystate Health Ambulance

GREENFIELD — A Canadian health company has officially purchased Baystate Health Ambulance and, beginning Sunday, is now the emergency first responder for seven Franklin County towns.

MedCare Emergency Health, an offshoot of Nova Scotia company Medavie EMS, will provide 911 emergency services for Greenfield, Montague, Bernardston, Gill, Shelburne, Leyden and Erving. The company will perform patient transport and first-response backup duties in the greater Springfield area.

Officials said that there were no jobs lost during the transfer of ownership. Baystate Health Ambulance employed between 40 and 50 Greenfield-based workers last year and responded to about 6,500 calls in the county in 2013.

When Baystate Health announced the deal in January, officials said they wanted to focus more on “core services” offered in hospitals and medical offices, including Greenfield’s Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Ambulance services did not fit into that picture.

The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. Baystate Health will contract with MedCare Emergency Health for all of the services currently provided by Baystate Health Ambulance.

“Over the last few months, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know the people and communities we’ll be serving, and that’s only made us more thrilled to be here,” said Erik Sande, president of Medavie EMS, in a prepared statement. “People should expect a seamless transition of services ... and sustained excellence in EMS care going forward.”

It’s the second United States venture for Medavie EMS. The company bought the Boston-based Eascare ambulance service in December 2012.

From its roots in Nova Scotia in the 1990s, Medavie EMS stretched west into six provinces. It has a monopoly on all emergency services in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island — a space that has nearly four times the population of Franklin County.

In time, ambulance officials would like to implement plans that they are currently doing in Canada — like one where emergency dispatchers are trained to send different crews to homes in different scenarios.

Crews could be sent, as they are now, to transport patients to Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s emergency room. But other crews could be sent with the goal of treating non-emergency injuries in the home, to save the patient a trip to the hospital.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com, 413-772-0261, ext. 264, or on Twitter @RecorderShores

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