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Maine Ambulance Service Ordered To Respond To Reduced Rate Prison Calls

The Maine Department of Public Safety, Department of Emergency Medical Services (Department appealed a court ruling that it's board erred in requiring the Town of Warren Ambulance Service (Service) to respond to calls at the State Prison. The Service cross appealed the ruling that the prison was considered "public" for statutory response requirements. The ruling of error was reversed.

In 2002 the prison was moved to Warren and the Service responded to calls there. In 2004, because of an increase in calls and population and a statutory reduction in reimbursement, the Service requested that the Department's board grant a waiver to release it's response obligation to the prison. The Service further claimed that the term "public" did not apply to the prison for statutory response requirements, The board refused to grant a waiver. The Service sought review and the court ruled that the prison was "public" for response purposes but that the board erred in not granting the waiver. Both parties appealed.

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine held that since the term "public" was ambiguous the board's interpretation was reasonable. It was held that the Service failed to show "extraordinary circumstances" to support a waiver. The court further urged the parties to find a non judicial solution. See: Town of Warren Ambulance Service v. Department of Public Safety, 2007 Me. 120 (Me. 2007).

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Related legal case

Town of Warren Ambulance Service v. Department of Public Safety