Entrepreneur Takes Advantage Of A Great Franchise Opportunity With Emt

Friday, January 29, 2010

St. Louis-based Express Medical Transporters is making its debut in the Memphis market with a franchisee who is a veteran of the industry. Bob McBride, president of State Systems, Inc., a local safety device engineering firm, will own the franchise, his second foray into the non-emergency and handicapped transport business.

McBride and his son, Justin, also own Wheelchair Getaways, a 5-year-old business that rents wheelchair accessible vehicles for short trips. That company, McBride says, is like Avis or Hertz for the disabled community, but it doesn't provide drivers. "We would get calls to pick people up, but insurance wouldn't let us do that," McBride says. "We did some checking and EMT was just starting to franchise, so we hooked up with them and opened our doors in May." Franchisees are required to pay a $45,000 franchise fee and a 5% royalty fee based on gross revenue. McBride's franchise on Cherry Road shares space with State Systems and Wheelchair Getaways. It currently has nine employees.

The local company currently has seven vehicles, but McBride says the goal is to have 20 vehicles by next year. That number could increase to more than 50 in the next five years.

"We feel like we can do that with what we're offering and the quality of employees we're hiring," he says.

EMT employees have to go through the typical first aid and CPR training, as well as training in dealing with handicapped people. Justin McBride, who has cer -ebral palsy, requires new employees to transport him to get a first-hand look at how they handle clients. "I think this gives us an advantage because none of the other local transport company owners are in a wheelchair," Justin McBride says.

EMT charges a flat rate of $45 each way in Shelby County. Some managed care contracts will cut that cost to a per-mile fee. Medicaid and TennCare cover 100% of transportation, while some Medicare organizations cover costs to their patients. The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs also covers costs to transport their patients.

P. Elayne Poston, administrator of the Allen Morgan Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is part of Trezevant Manor retirement community, says non-emergency transport services are always a necessity with Trezevant's residents. "Knowing there's another option that would offer my residents transportation to the doctor and hospital is always comforting, especially if the rates are reasonable," Poston says.

With local competitors such as Medical Transport Services, Inc., Carestat Non-Emergency Transportation and Memphis Ambulance Service, Bob McBride says EMT will be as flexible as possible with clients who may have lengthy doctor appointments. "It's difficult because you don't know if they'll be at the doctor's office one or three hours, but all they have to do is call when they're ready and we'll be there," he says. "There are good companies in town, but we're striving to be the best." For more information on franchising with EMT please visit www.emtusa.net.

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6780 Southwest Avenue
St. Louis, MO

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