By Elizabeth Fay
ROCKFORD (WREX)-The Rockford Finance and Personnel Committee wants to see if a private company can provide quality medical services to the city at a fraction of the price.
Tonight the committee unanimously voted to gather information to outsource ambulance services. Supporters say it could save the city millions of dollars.
"We're not sure what the private sector has to offer. We're not sure if they can fulfill our needs or the information request," says Ald. Bill Robertson.
If the council agrees to consider outsourcing ambulance services, city staff members would begin a search for the best candidate.
"We would actually be doing a nationwide scope to say, what services do you provide? What training do your people have? What's your projected costs?" says Ald. Venita Hervey.
Not long ago the committee voted down the idea to request private proposals, which would cost the city a few thousand dollars. The request for information passed through the committee tonight without a problem, partly because it shouldn't cost an extra cent.
"We have the information. We can do it as staff. We can move forward on that," says Ald. Doug Mark .
Committee member and former fire chief, Alderman Robertson says the current service is "second-to-none." He wants to make sure a private medical team would meet the same standards.
"It's a spectacular service and I know that it has paid benefits to people in this community many, many fold and so as I look at it, I look at it with those kinds of expectations," says Ald. Robertson.
The council is expect to vote on the request for information next week.