Board backs ambulance plan

archive_import

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

A plan aimed at cutting ambulance response times throughout Calaveras County yesterday won support from the board of supervisors.

Drafted by the Emergency Medical Services Task Force, an 11-member group appointed by supervisors, the plan calls for the county to be divided into zones, and for a different ambulance company to serve each zone.

It also calls for building, equipment and staffing upgrades at the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department dispatch center, where most emergency calls are routed. All calls should go through that dispatch center, the plan says.

Each supervisor voiced support for the Task Force plan at a study session yesterday. Board Chairman Paul Stein directed Health Services Agency Director Jeanne Boyce to draft an ordinance.

A key job will be deciding how many ambulance zones there should be.

"The Task Force did its best, and I strongly support and recommend that supervisors consider the report that has been made," said Larry Buswell of San Andreas, a member of the panel.

But not everyone was pleased.

Valley Springs resident Alice Raine feared open competition for each zone contract would give bigger companies, such as American Medical Response, an unfair advantage over small, locally owned competitors.

"I think we could lose some of the finest people who live here and work with the ambulance service," Raine said.

The Task Force was created in response to growing conflicts among local ambulance providers and emergency personnel.

With up to seven ambulance companies operating Calaveras County now, disputes have broken out over who responds to certain calls. Ambulance providers are paid based on call volumes.

Calaveras County has no rules on how many ambulance companies can operate. Boyce said that this, combined with constant demand, has brought more companies to the market.

11509284
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Sunday February 26, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
McClintock town hall draws large, divided crowd

02/22/2017

There was patriotic singing, chanting and sign waving inside the packed 569-seat ... more

Diverse views outside McClintock Town Hall

02/22/2017

They came with signs and flags and at least one mask, expressing ... more

County appoints working group on marijuana regulations

02/22/2017

What do two county supervisors, a former California Highway Patrol commander, a ... more

McClintock supporters, protesters call for peaceful event

02/20/2017

With people speculating about what could become the largest protest Sonora has ... more

Weather takes a swipe at Groveland business

02/23/2017

Recent road damage, rockfall, slides and Merced River flooding in January have ... more