Doña Ana County



The ambulance company contracted by Doña Ana County to serve residents throughout the county has become only the second nationally accredited ambulance service in the State of New Mexico. American Medical Response (AMR) received the accreditation earlier this month by meeting the standards of the independent Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS).

Only 121 of the nation’s estimated 13,000 ambulance services are CAAS accredited, according to the commission’s website. The state’s other certified ambulance fleet serves Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque.

CAAS is the ambulance industry’s equivalent of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations for hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and other medical facilities. Governed by a board representing national emergency medical services organizations, CAAS exists to promote quality care in the nation’s medical transport system.

CAAS was formed in 1990 as a not-for-profit agency to be a standard bearer for medical transportation systems. It is sponsored by the American Ambulance Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the National Association of EMS Physicians, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the National Association of EMTs, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, with liaison representation from The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Accreditation signifies that ambulance services have met the "gold standard" determined by the ambulance industry to be essential in a modern emergency medical services provider.

AMR spokesman Devin Miracco said the certification represents a milestone.

“Receiving accreditation from CAAS is a major achievement for our operation,” Miracco said. “We now have outside, independent validation that we consistently provide excellent paramedic care and run our organization with high efficiency. Residents of Doña Ana County should feel proud and have an extra sense of security, knowing AMR has met the CAAS gold standard.”

Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department Director Silvia Sierra said CAAS standards are broader and more detailed than state health department requirements for operating ambulance companies, because they cover training of EMTs and paramedics, quality assurance, equipment maintenance, communications, safety, relations with other health agencies, community activities, financial processes and many other facets of operation.

In Doña Ana County, AMR operates a fleet of 20 ambulances and employs approximately 90 paramedics, emergency medical technicians and others. To earn accreditation, AMR had to submit a “self-study,” a document several hundred pages long showing that AMR meets CAAS standards. After reviewing the self-study, the commission sent a two-person team to AMR’s Doña Ana County operation to verify compliance with the standards.

With 18 accredited sites around the nation, AMR has more accredited operations than any other ambulance company.
AMR is America’s leading provider of medical transportation, operating in 40 states and the District of Columbia. AMR’s 18,500 paramedics, EMTs and other professionals transport more than 4 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. Operating a fleet of approximately 4,500 vehicles, AMR, a subsidiary of Emergency Medical Services Corporation, is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.