Lisbon Emergency Deputy Chief Amy McDonnell sweeps out the back of an ambulance Monday at 42 Village St. After 45 years of serving Lisbon, they may lose their contract with the town by being outbid by United Ambulance. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LISBON — After decades of local emergency medical service coverage, officials may vote Tuesday to award the town’s contract to a Lewiston-based organization.

Lisbon Emergency has been the primary EMS provider in Lisbon for 45 years. However, United Ambulance has submitted a bid this year nearly $60,000 lower than Lisbon Emergency’s.

Fire Chief Nathan LeClair, Police Chief Ryan McGee, Town Manager Glenn Michalowski and Town Council Chairperson Harry Moore have all recommended that the town award the contract to United Ambulance. Partnering with United Ambulance would allow the town to save money, and provide additional benefits and services, they wrote.

“I feel that either service can meet the requirements of the (request for proposal) as written,” LeClair wrote in his review. “Taking only the bids on paper into consideration, I feel United Ambulance outweighs Lisbon Emergency.”

United Ambulance has proposed staging an ambulance in town 24/7 at a location which has not yet been determined. This ambulance would be staffed by a minimum of one advanced-level emergency medical technician and one basic EMT.

When the emergency exceeds the capabilities of these providers, United Ambulance will send a quick response vehicle with a paramedic from Lewiston, according to its bid. A paramedic is a level above advanced EMTs.


“This service is not offered by (Lisbon Emergency) and it allows for flexibility and efficient response when the primary ambulance is occupied with other services,” Michalowski wrote. “Furthermore, United Ambulance will provide an additional ambulance to cover the area when the designated unit is unavailable, ensuring continued coverage for our community.”

However, the Lisbon ambulance may also be pulled to Lewiston or surrounding communities to provide aid if necessary, Operations Manager Dennis Russell wrote to Michalowski.

“We plan to use resource management and move as needed, with a priority on having trucks for emergencies (in) Lisbon (if contracted) and our contracted communities,” Russell wrote.

Lisbon Emergency Deputy Chief Amy McDonnell backs an ambulance into the Lisbon Emergency bay on Village Street in Lisbon. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

In 2022, United Ambulance provided 68 transports originating from Lisbon, according to data provided by Russell. Lisbon Emergency was called to Lewiston 31 times, he said.

In comparison, Lisbon Emergency would staff one ambulance 24/7, up to a paramedic and an advanced EMT, and a second backup ambulance for 12 hours each day at 42 Village St.

Lisbon Emergency Deputy Chief Amy McDonnell said 95% of Lisbon Emergency’s coverage is at the paramedic level, which requires about four times the education hours as an advanced EMT. In the case of cardiac arrest, paramedics are able to administer a greater variety of medications than an advanced EMT, she said.


“Having a paramedic in town when seconds count is an extreme difference between the advanced and paramedic level,” she said. “If, say, someone goes into cardiac arrest in the town of Lisbon and there’s not a paramedic truck in town, they could be waiting upward of 15 minutes for a paramedic truck to respond from Lewiston to start giving those life-saving drugs.”

Lisbon Emergency’s bid is $334,626, the same request as last year, Donnell said. United Ambulance has asked for $275,000.

United Ambulance has served communities in Androscoggin County since 1981. The organization provides EMS services to residents in Lewiston, Sabattus, Greene and seven other towns in central and western Maine.

A call to United Ambulance Executive Director Paul Gosselin seeking comment Monday morning was not immediately returned.

Lisbon Emergency was started in the late 1970s after a local high school student died in a vehicle accident. The ambulance responding from Lewiston had been delayed.

The organization covers Lisbon and Bowdoin, with 73% of EMS calls originating in Lisbon.

Donnell said she doesn’t know whether losing the contract from Lisbon would impact coverage to Bowdoin or whether it would result in the closure of the organization.

“Our board of directors is aware and we have come up with some ideas on how to stay afloat if United does indeed get the bid,” Donnell wrote. “But there’s nothing that’s set in stone.”

The Town Council plans to award the emergency service contract during Tuesday’s meeting at 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

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