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Edinburg negotiates ambulance service Hidalgo County EMS bankruptcy…

Edinburg negotiates ambulance service Hidalgo County EMS bankruptcy…

The City of Edinburg let out Requests for Proposals (RFP) last year for its ambulance provider. One of the stipulations was that any company submitting an RFP could not have filed for bankruptcy. Like most cities, it presumably wanted a financially stable ambulance provider. At the time, only one of the two companies vying for the city’s ambulance business had ever filed for bankruptcy – Med-Care EMS. It successfully paid off its debtor – the IRS – but still, that one financial mark on its record kicked it out of the running for Edinburg work. The city’s ambulance committee recommended Hidalgo County EMS as its choice; but then an interesting thing happened last October (2019): Hidalgo County EMS filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as well, which would presumably give it time to reorganize its debt while protecting it from judgments, collection activities, foreclosures, and repossessions of property. The filing was post-RFP submittal, however, so the bankruptcy filing was considered a moot point by some. During last month’s City of Edinburg meeting, the bankruptcy question was posed by Mayor Richard Molina. He said even though Hidalgo County EMS had filed for bankruptcy after the RFP process had been concluded, it might still be in the city’s best interests to relet the RFP, only exclude the bankruptcy prohibition in the new one so that Med-Care wouldn’t be automatically kicked out of the process, thereby avoiding any possible future litigation. His concern gained little to no traction with the rest of the city council, and the interim city manager, Richard Hinojosa, was directed by the city council to enter into negotiations with Hidalgo County EMS and return to the city council at a later date with a new proposed contract. According to several sources tied to emergency services as they relate to municipalities, “bankruptcy” is seldom used in an RFP as a prohibition clause. Typically, instead, a city may request proof of financial stability on the part of the ambulance companies submitting an RFP, maybe bank records are requested, but seldom will having once filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, successfully reorganizing and then paying off past debts, kick a company out of the running for city ambulance business. In the meantime, The Advance News Journal caught up with Omar Romero who is serving as the ambulance provider’s chief reorganization officer while the bankruptcy reorganization process moves forward. “Right now everything’s working fairly well,” Romero said. “Everything’s being paid; payroll’s being ...

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