By the edhat staff
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and American Medical Response (AMR) had been vying for the lucrative ten-year ambulance contract worth an estimated $1 billion in Santa Barbara County.
While the county initially followed state rules for the Request for Approval (RFP) process, an ordinance created in April gave the Board of Supervisors control over the permits, with Public Health responsible for the contract. AMR is now contesting the awarding of the emergency ambulance service contract to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, arguing that the contract should have been issued by the Local Emergency Medicine Services Agency (LEMSA) instead, reports The Independent.
AMR argues that state law only allows LEMSAs to set the policies, rules, and procedures governing ambulance providers. During the RFP process, AMR scored 300 points higher than County Fire, but County Fire appealed the decision and eventually won.
The finding states that AMR’s proposal demonstrated no community benefits through innovative service delivery, local reinvestment, or an integrated public safety response. County Fire’s proposals included collaborations with Behavioral Wellness on mental-health co-response, alternative destinations to the ER such as crisis centers, and community paramedicine.
AMR is planning to file a civil lawsuit next week and is requesting the county to preserve all related records.
Read the full story at independent.com
September 20, 2023 – Santa Barbara County Supervisors Approve County Fire for Ambulance Permits