Fallon brought Cataldo Ambulance on as a subcontractor and won the bid for the Partners job in January, beating out American Medical Response, the Colorado-based behemoth of ambulance services. Fallon also sought assistance from Boston Medflight and Partners’ own Spaulding Rehabilitation ambulance service to line up the contract.
To wrest the biggest contract in Fallon Ambulance Service’s history away from the largest ambulance company in the country, the managers at Fallon figured they might need some help.
So they teamed up with a competitor and sought other partners as they pulled together a bid to provide ambulance services to the Partners HealthCare hospitals in the Boston area, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
Fallon brought Cataldo Ambulance Service in Somerville on as a subcontractor and won the bid for the Partners job in January, beating out American Medical Response. Fallon also sought assistance from Boston MedFlight and Partners’ own Spaulding Rehabilitation ambulance service to line up the contract.
“They demonstrated a commitment and a creativity to being able to meet (our) response targets,” said Dr. Richard Zane, the medical director for Partners’ patient transfer service.
Fallon had unsuccessfully bid on the contract in 2004, said Peter Racicot, Fallon’s senior vice president of business development. So Fallon’s management was forced to rethink how to approach the bid this time around.
“We really felt that Partners, being the size that they are and the reach that they had, they wanted a larger entity,” he said. “We’ve never woven together a group (of ambulance services) like we did for this bid.”
The three-year contract, which took effect on March 1, played a key role in Fallon’s decision to expand its work force by nearly 125 people since November, from about 625 to about 750 today, Racicot said. Fallon also purchased 16 vehicles, bringing the size of its fleet to more than 150, he said.
The contract will increase the company’s annual revenue and ambulance trips by about 25 percent, Racicot said.
The new hires have been spread among Fallon garages in North Quincy, Roslindale and Waltham, as well as Fallon’s Quincy headquarters. The Partners contract also includes services for two other Partners hospitals, Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain and Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton.
The contract will help Fallon build its base in the western suburbs, which Fallon has targeted for expansion.
The contract involves transferring patients out of the Partners hospitals, although some transfers will be between Partners hospitals. The dispatches for all those trips will flow through Fallon’s call center.
The contract builds on a longstanding relationship that Fallon has had with Faulkner Hospital. Fallon continued to provide services to Faulkner as a subcontractor to AMR, even though Fallon lost its previous bid to serve the entire Partners system, Racicot said. Fallon’s track record at Faulkner helped the company win the full Partners contract this time around.
Jon Chesto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.