Tulare County Weighs Single-Provider Ambulance System
Tulare County is considering adopting a single-provider ambulance service in an effort to hasten response times by the nine ambulance providers that currently operate countywide, the Fresno Bee reports.
Ray Bullick, county director of health services, along with officials from the Central California Emergency Medical Services Agency, are promoting the single-provider proposal to cities, hospitals and ambulance services.
Daniel Lynch, administrator of the four-county EMS agency, said the single provider would be required to staff an ambulance in various communities and provide backup equipment in an area if the ambulance leaves on a call. Lynch added that the system would be funded through a fee for services, leaving the county and its cities without any cost burden.
The county could penalize the provider for failing to meet response time requirements, according to the Bee.
Allen Ishida, board of supervisors chair, said if the nine current ambulance services "can all come together and service the unincorporated areas, we'll keep the current system in place." He added, "If they can't, then we'll look at a single provider."
Ishida said he expects the board later this month to allow the county health department and the EMS agency to continue studying the single-provider system (Sheehan, Fresno Bee, 8/19).