Rural/Metro drops 40 positions - East Valley Tribune: Business

Rural/Metro drops 40 positions

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Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:43 pm | Updated: 7:06 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

About 28 Southwest Ambulance and Rural/Metro Fire Department employees were laid off this week in Maricopa County as part of a streamlining process.

In all, 40 positions were cut across Arizona. That includes both layoffs and the elimination of vacant positions, said Jeff Sargent, president of Southwest Ambulance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rural/Metro Corp.

“There were no direct field operations positions lost,” he said.

“Nobody needs to worry about the performance of Southwest Ambulance or Rural/Metro Fire.”

Administrative management and support positions were eliminated, said Robin Carney, Southwest Ambulance’s director of marketing.

“It’s just directing the focus toward providing continued excellent customer service … creating an opportunity for placing responsibility in the hands of those working more closely with our customers and patients,” she said.

The downsizing was not a corporate initiative, said Liz Merritt, Rural/Metro’s corporate spokeswoman.

“The downsizing at Southwest Ambulance and Rural/Metro Fire is part of a regional downsizing only,” she said. “There are no other operations affected.”

The positions eliminated were at the middle-management level, giving more authority to market-level managers, Sargent said.

“It’s putting basically the ability to manage the company in the hands of the people in the field,” he said.

“(Authority) had been at a higher level than it needed to be. This eliminated some of the middle-management structure.”

Southwest Ambulance has more than 1,200 employees and nearly 300 ambulances.

In Maricopa County, Rural/Metro Fire has stations in Fountain Hills, Cave Creek, Carefree, Queen Creek and the eastern and western portions of the county.

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