San Diego City switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997 to Falck Ambulance Company on November 27, 2021

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Brian
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:54 pm

San Diego City switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997 to Falck Ambulance Company on November 27, 2021

Post by Brian »

San Diego plans to switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997

Switching from AMR to Danish-based Falck comes after disputes with AMR over response times, staffing levels and fines

San Diego officials said Monday they plan to switch the city’s ambulance provider for the first time in more than two decades.
Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell said the city has decided to engage in exclusive contract negotiations with Falck, a Danish-owned company that provides ambulance services in nine U.S. states including California.

City officials chose Falck over the city’s existing ambulance provider, American Medical Response, based on how the two companies responded to a 73-page “request for proposals” issued by the city in August.

The decision to switch comes after a series of disputes between AMR and city officials over response times, staffing levels and fines levied on the company for not meeting city goals.


But city officials have repeatedly said they plan to explore having another ambulance provider take over when AMR’s contract ends on June 30, 2020.

That contract has been extended multiple times since 1997, when the city selected Rural/Metro to provide ambulance services in San Diego. AMR bought Rural/Metro in 2015 and has continued operating under the same contract.

If no agreement is reached, the city could turn back to AMR or issue a new request for proposals.

Stowell said the decision to choose Falck is not based on any current turbulence with AMR.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/co ... since-1997

Falck San Diego Facebook
https://m.facebook.com/pg/FalckSD/posts/
https://facebook.com/FalckSD/
https://facebook.com/FalckNC/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falck_(em ... s_company)


https://us.falck.com/en/us_emergency/

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Whistleblower talks about his EMS career and new leadership role Rural/Metro executive Robert "Boo" Heffner accused the agency of cheating San Diego out of revenues in 2010, and then moved on to Falck, a Denmark company that operates fire and EMS services in 37 countries worldwide Aug 30, 2013

A former longtime executive with Rural/Metro, Robert “Boo” Heffner made headlines in 2010 when he accused the company of cheating the city of San Diego out of revenues generated by San Diego Medical Services Enterprise (SDMSE). For years, SDMSE was cheered as an example of a public-private partnership done right, benefiting the city, the company and patients. But soon after Heffner’s charges were made public, the city auditor issued a report claiming the ambulance company had withheld millions between 1997 and 2007.

https://www.ems1.com/ems-management/art ... OpLwOqXgC/
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mike
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Re: San Diego plans to switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997

Post by mike »

Any idea of frequencies they use for dispatch?

Will they take over AMR for contract cities in the county or just city of San Diego?
800
Posts: 122
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Location: Hanover County, VA

Re: San Diego plans to switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997

Post by 800 »

I expect they will continue to use the City's public safety trunked radio network.

Don
Brian
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:54 pm

Re: San Diego plans to switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997

Post by Brian »

Danish ambulance provider Falck versus Faulconer
Mayor kills ambulance deal opposed by One San Diego donor
Jan. 27, 2020
https://sandiegoreader.com/news/2020/ja ... faulconer/
800
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:35 pm
Location: Hanover County, VA

Re: San Diego plans to switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997

Post by 800 »

Nothing surprises me any more.
Brian
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:54 pm

Re: San Diego plans to switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997

Post by Brian »

Update:

San Diego signs contract with new ambulance provider, a key step toward making switch
DEC. 8, 2020
San Diego has taken another key step toward replacing the city’s longtime ambulance provider with a Danish company that operates ambulances in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Bay Area.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... ing-switch
https://www.ems1.com/ambulance-service/ ... WFpsvZ3Xc/

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Falck was selected by city over incumbent provider, but negotiations have yet to start
SEP. 20, 2020
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... onse-times

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San Diego Ambulance Bid Process Gets Testy
Lawyers for American Medical Response claimed in a letter that San Diego's fire chief holds a grudge against the agency for firing his son several years ago.
Aug 30th, 2020
https://www.firehouse.com/operations-tr ... gets-testy

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San Diego extends ambulance contract, but city still committed to new proposals for service
4-8-2020
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... or-service

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JAN. 25, 2021 update:
San Diego closer to switching ambulance providers after city rejects protest by AMR
New provider, Falck, would increase ambulance service 20 percent; public hearing slated Feb. 10
https://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/off ... es-results

San Diego’s plan to switch ambulance providers took a key step forward Monday when the city rejected an appeal by incumbent provider American Medical Response, paving the way for rival Falck USA to take over later this year.

With AMR’s appeal now formally rejected and dismissed, the City Council’s public safety committee has scheduled a Feb. 10 public hearing on the Falck proposal, which could receive final approval from the full council a few weeks afterward.

If the council approves the deal with Falck, the city will begin the transition process and Falck will take over service sometime within a six-month period during which AMR is contractually required to continue assisting Falck.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... umbent-amr

San Diego may be switching ambulance providers
January 28, 2021
https://www.sandiegonewsdesk.com/2021/0 ... providers/

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AMR will try anything except giving good service to keep their gravy train going. Let's take a look at their Yelp page, 85% of the reviewers gave them 1 out of 5 stars, the lowest possible rating. There are not many businesses with a lower Yelp rating. https://www.yelp.com/biz/american-medic ... an-diego-2
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San Diego council approves switch to new ambulance service
Nearly 200 people spoke either for or against the switch from AMR to Falck ahead of the long-awaited vote

San Diego will have a new ambulance provider for the first time in 23 years after the City Council voted 9-0 Tuesday to switch from American Medical Response to Falck, a Danish company that is the largest ambulance operator in the world.
The motivation for switching providers is Falck's plan to put more ambulances on the road and boost response times in ethnically diverse and low-income neighborhoods south of state Route 94.
https://www.ems1.com/private-ems/articl ... 2HmcSgHB7/


San Diego makes long-awaited ambulance provider switch to improve response times, equipment

The five-year contract requires Falck to provide 1,008 hours of daily ambulance service, a 20 percent increase from 840 hours now provided by AMR. AMR had proposed a more modest increase to 888 hours.
Falck’s proposal included roughly 10 to 14 more ambulances in operation each day.

The city’s annual fee from Falck would be about $9 million, down about 15 percent from the $10.6 million annual fee AMR has been paying.

In exchange for that payment, the city’s ambulance provider gets the opportunity to directly bill patients who receive ambulance care. In its proposal to the city, Falck projected it would receive nearly $75 million in annual revenue.

the new equipment provided by Falck, including 65 new ambulances, will alleviate morale problems city ambulance workers have been experiencing while working in older ambulances with outdated equipment.

“Falck is looking to grow in the U.S. and provide 9-1-1 services to great cities like San Diego,” he said. “We can only do that based on our reputation.”

The deal also requires new equipment. In addition to 65 new ambulances – essentially replacing the entire fleet – the contract calls for new gurneys, cardiac monitors and compression devices. The city also would regain control of some of the office and storage space now occupied by AMR.

The deal requires a six-month transition period where AMR will help Falck take over.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... -equipment

AMR No More: San Diego City Council Votes to Switch Ambulance Service Providers
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ ... s/2575985/

San Diego fire chief urges switch to new ambulance provider in long-awaited vote next Tuesday
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... xt-tuesday

Time for San Diego to have a new ambulance service provider
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/op ... onse-times

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MAY 9, 2021
San Diego’s ambulance provider switch makes excessively slow response times less likely

A key element in San Diego’s contract with its new ambulance provider is a set of stiff penalties for excessively slow emergency responses, which could help solve a problem that city officials have struggled with for years.
When the new provider, Falck USA, takes over later this year for American Medical Response, it will face a new kind of penalty the city hasn’t previously used.
AMR has been fined when its overall performance on response times haven’t met city criteria, but the company has never been penalized for individual emergency response times that far exceeded the city’s goals — no matter how egregious the failure.
But the new city contract with Falck includes a $5,000 fine every time an ambulance takes longer to arrive at an emergency than 24 minutes — which is double the city’s 12-minute goal for ambulance responses.

Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell says those new fines, coupled with Falck’s commitment to increase ambulance operating hours by 20 percent, will boost overall service across the city when the company takes over and eliminate outlier response times.
“That’s the biggest financial difference in the new penalty structure versus the one we’re in right now,” Stowell said. “If you know you’re not going to make the 12-minute time clock, there’s no difference now in the cost whether you get there in 13 minutes or 25 minutes.”
Stowell said an analysis of response times for American Medical Response has convinced him that the $5,000 fines will be a significant disincentive for Falck.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... ess-likely

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Feb 8, 2021
New Yorker Al Sharpton trashes San Diego's paramedic selection
Racially charged controversy looms over Falck versus AMR
https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/202 ... san-diego/

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SEPT. 21, 2021
San Diego concerned new ambulance company struggling to hire, secure new vehicles

Transition to Denmark-based Falck is scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend despite some missed deadlines

The company scheduled to become San Diego’s new ambulance provider over Thanksgiving weekend is struggling to hire paramedics and secure new ambulances, prompting city officials to express concerns about the transition.
Falck, a Danish company that handles ambulance service in many cities around the world, is scheduled to replace longtime city ambulance provider American Medical Response at 8 a.m. Nov. 27, Fire Chief Colin Stowell said.
The takeover will come at the end of a six-month transition period the City Council approved last spring, when it chose Falck over AMR as San Diego’s ambulance provider based on promises of better service and response times.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... w-vehicles

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New ambulance service concerns for San Diego

San Diego City Fire and Rescue Department Chief Colin Stowell is addressing the City Council Wednesday about concerns over the city's new ambulance provider.

In 10 weeks, Falck will be San Diego's new ambulance provider. It promises faster response times. But some worry it will not be able to deliver.

The City Council voted to partner with Falck as San Diego's new medical services provider and fix problems causing delays. Current company AMR was dropped.

But the transition has hit some snags. Falck has secured 34 new ambulances, half as what it promised so far. It is also having trouble hiring paramedics — it has hired 115 out of 148.

Terry Cunningham, of The Liver Coalition of San Diego, worries the new company won't be ready in 10 weeks.

"If you don't have enough ambulances how in the world are you going to help people in crisis?"
Fire Chief Colin Stowell says the areas where Falck is falling short do not put lives at risk.

Falk provided this statement:
Falk is working closely with the fire chief and city leaders to address outstanding questions...despite the same covid-related challenges facing EMS systems nationwide, we are on schedule to respond to 911 calls on November 27 and are committed to fulfilling our commitment to deliver improved EMS services to San Diegans. When people need us, we will there.
https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/ ... e-concerns


Paramedic - $12,000 Incentive Bonus
Falck San Diego - San Diego, California
Sep 23, 2021
https://www.ems1.com/ems-jobs/san-diego ... vG0dw0ZGH/

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Jeff Behm to Lead Falck’s New San Diego Operations
9.14.2021
Falck today announced it has selected senior healthcare executive Jeff Behm as the new managing director of San Diego’s emergency ambulance operation. The service launches on November 27.

“After an extensive search, we believe Jeff is the right person for the job of leading the new San Diego operation,” said Troy Hagen, chief commercial officer of Falck USA. “His extensive EMS experience in a large urban system will help him hit the ground running,” Hagen added.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to help Falck provide high-quality, compassionate emergency medical services to all San Diegans,” Behm said. “Falck is known for its deep connection to the communities it serves, and I’m looking forward to furthering our relationship with our many partnering community organizations.”

Behm, who is known as a team builder and dynamic innovator, brings extensive experience as a healthcare executive, culminating in the role of president and chief executive officer at Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation (MONOC) in New Jersey, a 14-hospital cooperative providing emergency medical and patient transport services for a population of 2.8 million.
https://www.jems.com/best-practices/spo ... perations/

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Falck San Diego Hiring Portal!
Current Openings
https://falcksd.candidatecare.jobs

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Northern California News about Falk:

Alameda County to Address Ambulance Response Time Concerns
Oakland Fire Chief Requests Review of Falk Performance
Sep 30, 2021
https://www.independentnews.com/news/al ... 9ff96.html

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OCT. 20, 2021
Rapid progress seen by San Diego’s incoming ambulance operator, easing city concerns about transition
Falck USA hiring workers, ordering equipment, getting federal approvals, negotiating labor deals

San Diego’s new ambulance provider has made so much progress meeting city expectations in recent days that the company has managed to nearly eliminate all concerns raised last month by city officials, a City Council committee was told Wednesday.
Falck USA has hired dozens of paramedics, reached a new labor contract with dispatchers, secured federal narcotics approval, ordered 99 percent of needed supplies and finalized a training module for employees. Those efforts will help smooth Falck’s scheduled Nov. 27 takeover of city ambulance operations from American Medical Response, Fire-Rescue Department officials said.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... transition

OCT. 13, 2021
Hiring spree has San Diego’s new ambulance provider ready to take over Nov. 27, company says

Falck USA won’t keep city promise to have all-new vehicles because of microchip shortage

The company hasn’t made any headway on a second concern raised last month by Chief Stowell: Falck’s struggles to secure enough new ambulances to keep a promise it would begin service with a fleet of 66 all-new ambulances.
Falck has 33 new ambulances, which meets its contractual agreement that at least half its ambulances be brand new. But a pandemic-related microchip shortage means the entire fleet won’t be all-new until sometime next spring, officials said.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... mpany-says

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Riding With Falck: City's Confidence in New Ambulance Company Restored
NBC 7’s Alexis Rivas details some of the concerns surrounding Falck, the city of San Diego’s newest ambulance company.
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/videos/ridi ... d/2760213/
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ ... s/2759991/

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NOVEMBER 11, 2021
Officials say San Diego’s new ambulance provider is ready to take over Nov. 27

San Diego’s new ambulance provider is in a strong position to take over Nov. 27 thanks to significant progress in recent weeks on a long list of city requests, officials said this week.
After raising significant concerns about the takeover in September by failing to meet some city demands, Falck USA has rallied to satisfy nearly all the city’s three dozen criteria.

Falck has said it will increase daily ambulance hours across the city from 840 to 1,008.
That many hours will require 134 paramedics and 174 EMTs, numbers Falck has exceeded with 139 paramedics and 222 EMTs.
But when one factors in vacations and workers calling in sick, Falck needs 192 EMTS and 148 paramedics. That gives the company 30 extra EMTS, but leaves it nine paramedics short.

The one area where Falck hasn’t yet satisfied city officials is fully connecting a communications system between ambulances, city fire officials and dispatchers.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... ver-nov-27

https://www.ems1.com/ambulance-service/ ... izwp4u9BX/

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NOV. 27, 2021
Falck takes over San Diego’s ambulance service in smooth transition Saturday

The transition officially began at 7:49 a.m. Saturday when a Falck ambulance responded to a medical emergency in San Ysidro. City officials said that response and several others on Saturday morning went smoothly.

Falck is ramping up to the promised 1,008 daily ambulance hours. They started operations with 33 of their 66 ambulances as brand-new vehicles; the 33 older vehicles are slated for replacement with new models in the spring.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... ce-service

Video - Falck, City of San Diego's New Ambulance Provider Begins Service
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ ... e/2803145/

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San Diego’s transition to new ambulance provider going well despite COVID-19 surge

Response time data under Falck not yet ready; company struggling with staffing, other issues
JAN. 28, 2022

San Diego’s transition to a new ambulance provider has gone relatively smoothly despite significant challenges presented by the recent COVID-19 surge, city and ambulance company officials said this week.
Two months after Falck USA replaced American Medical Response as the city’s ambulance provider on Nov. 27, city officials say they don’t have enough vetted and fully analyzed data to determine whether response times have improved.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... d-19-surge
https://www.10news.com/news/local-news/ ... d-19-surge
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ ... l/2854232/
https://fox5sandiego.com/news/health/ho ... vider/amp/

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San Diego’s new ambulance provider criticized for lack of ambulances, challenging city officials
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... -officials

San Diego’s new ambulance provider Falck USA must do better or face consequences.
MARCH 11, 2022
Less than three months into its contract to provide ambulance service in the city of San Diego, Falck USA finds itself facing sharp criticism. At a City Council committee meeting this week, fire officials said the company was falling short of promises to increase the number of ambulances in operation by roughly a dozen and to increase daily ambulance hours from 840 to 1,008, overworking its staff and refusing to provide the city with basic information. Ambulances based in Point Loma, Skyline-Paradise Hills, Mira Mesa and Linda Vista have been shut down more than 30 percent of the time, which Fire Chief Colin Stowell called a severe problem.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/op ... nsequences

Falck Criticized for Lack of Ambulances, Overworking Staff in San Diego (CA)
https://www.jems.com/operations/falck-c ... -diego-ca/
https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/03 ... alls-short

Former Falck employees share concerns about city's new ambulance provider
Several former Falck employees are expressing concerns about the city's new ambulance provider, saying the company is falling short in its overall service to San Diego.
At least three former Falck EMTs the company was not prepared when it took over in November—dealing with everything from payroll problems to staffing.
https://www.10news.com/news/team-10/for ... e-provider
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Public records: Ambulance provider Falck still falling short of contract requirements.
New public records show San Diego’s ambulance provider Falck still needs to provide more information to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to prove it is complying with its contract.
During a public safety meeting in March, it was revealed the company did not meet numerous staffing and service requirements.
“This is deeply disappointing and quite frankly angering,”
Falck was failing to meet its contractual requirements, according to a letter from San Diego Fire-Rescue dated March 7. Falck had to respond within 10 days of the letter to address its deficiencies and how it will cure them.
https://www.10news.com/news/team-10/pub ... quirements

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San Diego’s new ambulance provider Falck could face more than $450,000 in penalties, according to a new document from San Diego Fire-Rescue.
The information was released by San Diego Fire-Rescue ahead of the Public Safety & Liveable Neighborhoods Committee meeting Wednesday.
The update — which will be presented publicly during the committee meeting — shows that the fines are connected to Falck’s failure to meet required response times from December to March.
The total penalty assessed was in excess of more than $2.3 million, but about $1.9 million was waived because of the pandemic.
https://www.10news.com/news/team-10/san ... -penalties
______________________________
San Diego's ambulance provider facing $457,000 penalty for not meeting response times
May 17, 2022
https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/05 ... onse-times
______________________________
Frustration with private ambulance provider prompts San Diego to explore shift to in-house service.
Fire chief says new study will help determine whether public or private is long-term answer.
San Diego is studying the financial feasibility of taking the city’s ambulance service away from private provider Falck and merging it into the city’s Fire-Rescue Department.
MAY 18, 2022
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... se-service
_______________________________________________
City Council to Review Falck Ambulance Services Amid EMT Hiring Challenges
May 15, 2022
https://timesofsandiego.com/politics/20 ... hallenges/
_______________________________________________
SEPT. 17, 2022
San Diego’s new ambulance provider, facing steep fines, revamps policy to improve response times
Falck USA is mandating overtime for paramedics and revamping border responses, as the city studies taking service in-house
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... onse-times

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NOV. 16, 2022
San Diego ready to take drastic action on ambulance service to solve staffing, response time problems.
Falck USA’s continuing failures to fulfill its promises may prompt the city to add a second provider or bring service in-house. ‘We can’t just wait for it to get better,’ the city’s fire chief said.
With San Diego’s new ambulance provider still falling far short of staffing and response-time goals, city leaders promised Wednesday to take drastic action in January that could include adding a second ambulance provider.

Another solution discussed Wednesday is supplementing the staff of ambulance provider Falck USA with city paramedics. City officials may also take the service away from Falck entirely and merge it into the city’s Fire-Rescue Department.

Not only hasn’t it kept its promise to increase daily ambulance hours across the city from 840 to 1,008, Falck also hasn’t met the minimum of 900 daily hours required by its city contract in any month since taking over last November.

And new numbers unveiled Wednesday show things are getting worse, not better. Average daily hours dropped from 810 in July to 768 in August, then fell to 756 in September.
Response time data for those months aren’t yet available, but a Falck official acknowledged Wednesday that the company will be facing fines in multiple response-time categories for September.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... onse-times

Changes may be coming to San Diego’s emergency medical services
Published November 18, 2022
https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/11 ... l-services

Falck faces concerns over ambulance response times
https://fox5sandiego.com/news/local-new ... times/amp/

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Falck USA will start sending cover letters after critics said mailings that aren’t actually bills look like bills
OCT. 6, 2022
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... -ambulance
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Falck unveils 4 new ambulances with messages to keep San Diegans safe
The four "Rolling Billboard Public Service Announcement (PSA) ambulances will be strategically placed around San Diego in four different zones.
https://www.cbs8.com/amp/article/news/e ... a5c6af75b4
________________________________________________
DEC. 2, 2022
San Diego ambulance provider offering $50,000 signing bonuses to combat paramedic staffing crisis
San Diego’s new ambulance provider, Falck USA, will try to solve its paramedic staffing crisis by giving new hires $50,000 signing bonuses, it announced Friday.
The new bonuses come two weeks after city leaders promised to take drastic action next month that could include adding a second ambulance provider or taking the service away from Falck and merging it into the city’s Fire-Rescue Department.
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... ng-bonuses

Dec 13, 2022
San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell said he feels “frustration and disappointment” when it comes to failures of Falck in its contract with the city.
https://www.10news.com/news/team-10/san ... ider-falck
Brian
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:54 pm

Re: San Diego City switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997 to Falck Ambulance Company on November 27, 2021

Post by Brian »

January 19, 2023
San Diego's ambulance provider still underperforming, changes looming over emergency medical services.

The city of San Diego’s ambulance provider, Falck, is still not meeting expectations and city officials are prepared to take more control over the local 911 system, which could see a contract with another ambulance company to makeup for shortfalls.

“We can't continue to operate this way,” said Marni von Wilpert, chair of the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety Committee. “It’s been over a year now — we’ve never gotten the full unit hours or staffing levels we need. We have patients being carried to hospitals on fire trucks and that is not acceptable.”
Wednesday’s update to the council focused on the months of October, November and December. Data from the fire department revealed Falck still has not once met their promised 900 monthly median paramedic hours. They reported 794 hours in October, 771 in November and 792 in December.

Fire-Rescue officials also said there continues to be times when no paramedic ambulances are available for 911 calls. That was the case for 21 hours in October, 34 hours in November and 15 hours in December. In those instances, a basic life support ambulance or even San Diego Fire-Rescue trucks may have to transport patients.

Falck is also being hit with just over $900,000 in fines for delayed response times during the months of July, August and September. The company signed a five year contract with the city in 2021.
https://www.kpbs.org/news/health/2023/0 ... y-services

Jan 18, 2023
Frustrated with its ambulance service, San Diego explores adding second provider
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... -san-diego

January 19, 2023
Falck ambulance provider staffing shortage, service issues persist
San Diego Fire Department considers bringing on second ambulance provider to make up the difference.
https://www.cbs8.com/amp/article/news/l ... e0ae3c19e6

January, 2023
Opinion: Falck Is Committed to San Diego and Improved Emergency Response
https://timesofsandiego.com/opinion/202 ... -response/
https://patch.com/california/san-diego/ ... y-response

January, 2023
City of San Diego opening dialogue to amend contract with emergency services company Falck
The city is demanding Falck raise its incentives to hire more paramedics or potentially lose Falck’s exclusive rights to ambulance services in San Diego. The council has given the company until February to turn it around or face major changes.
No motion was made today, the city, however, is looking to move things forward in its next meeting Feb. 15.
https://fox5sandiego.com/news/local-new ... falck/amp/

*****************************************

2/15/2023
Public Safety Committee Meeting
https://sandiego.hylandcloud.com/211age ... &mtids=123

The link to join the Meeting Webinar by computer, tablet, or Smartphone is:
https://sandiego.zoomgov.com/j/1614138702
Brian
Posts: 1456
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:54 pm

Re: San Diego City switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997 to Falck Ambulance Company on November 27, 2021

Post by Brian »

FEB. 15, 2023
Frustrated with ambulance response times, San Diego plans to take over staffing, billing from Falck

Fire Chief Colin Stowell says fundamental changes are necessary to cut ambulance response times, and plans to shift the city to an alliance model used in the Bay Area.

San Diego plans to fundamentally change ambulance service in the city by taking authority over billing and staffing away from private ambulance provider Falck, Fire Chief Colin Stowell announced Wednesday.
The move comes after many months of Falck falling far short of the staffing and response-time promises it made to the city when it took over ambulance service in November 2021.
The city’s new plan, which Stowell said he’s still negotiating with Falck officials, would give San Diego the power to increase ambulance coverage by hiring multiple companies. The plan could also be a financial windfall for the city.

San Diego isn’t shifting to in-house ambulance service similar to San Francisco and Los Angeles, where city workers operate the ambulances. Instead, San Diego will follow what’s known as the alliance model, created seven years ago in Contra Costa County.

Falck and other private providers will still own and staff ambulances operating in San Diego, but the city will take control over how those ambulances are deployed. It will also bill ambulance patients and collect payments from them.

Whereas under the current model Falck pays San Diego $9 million a year for the right to charge patients, the city will now pay Falck and other providers fees to operate the ambulances and will have the right to charge patients itself.
While the model shifts financial risk from Falck to the city, proponents of the alliance model stress that state law gives public agencies better reimbursement rates from Medicare and MediCal patients than private ambulance providers get.
Stowell said revenues generated under the new model would be reinvested into the city emergency medical system to improve service.

Critics of the alliance model complain that it eliminates competitive bidding for ambulance services, allowing city fire officials to hand-pick the providers they will use.
Falck is expected to be the city’s primary ambulance provider under the new model, but city officials said they expect to have more than one provider.
“We would subcontract with multiple ambulance providers to ensure we provide the necessary hours for the community,” Assistant Fire Chief Dave Gerboth told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee Wednesday.

When Falck took over ambulance service for the city, it promised 1,008 hours per day of coverage, but during most months it has been providing roughly 930 to 960 hours per day. That’s more than the 840 hours per day provided by the city’s last provider, American Medical Response, before it was replaced by Falck.

Gerboth said taking control of staffing will allow the city to adjust the number of hours of service based on seasonal increases in emergencies and other fluctuations.

Stowell estimated it would take three to four months to implement the alliance model after he concludes negotiations on the new model with Falck.
In the interim, he said Falck would be required to bring on a second ambulance provider as a subcontractor until the city is ready to take over.

Both the alliance model and Falck‘s use of a subcontractor will be part of an amendment to Falck’s contract with the city. The city has leverage to renegotiate that contract because Falck has fallen short of its obligations under it.
Stowell said he expects to present the proposed amendments to the Public Safety Committee in March and hopes to bring it to the full City Council for final approval soon afterward.
“We’re working as fast as we can on some of the language in this amendment,” he told the committee. “There’s a lot of data to review, a lot of financials on the expenditures and the revenues and how best this alliance model is going to play out.”

Falck spokesperson Jeff Lucia said Falck is enthusiastic about the new model.
“It will help further stabilize the emergency medical system,” he said. “We think it’s an excellent example of public-private collaboration.”
Councilmember Marni von Wilpert, chair of the Public Safety Committee, praised Stowell’s new plan.

“I’m happy we have a concrete strategy to move forward and change what’s happening,” she told the chief. “We would not have changed ambulance providers, we would not have done this whole request for proposals, if we were OK with the status quo, which is what we’re getting under this contract.”

Falck may also soon see an improvement in its struggles to recruit and retain paramedics and emergency medical technicians to staff the 65 ambulances it operates in San Diego.

The company has reached a tentative three-year agreement with the labor union representing its workers that includes 9 percent raises in the first year and 4 percent raises in each of the next two years.
Tony Sorci, leader of the union, said the new deal has been a long time coming for his workers. The roughly 400 members of his union are expected to vote on the new deal by the end of this month. Before the new deal, the starting annual salary for Falck paramedics in San Diego is $57,206.

Sorci said the alliance model would likely boost morale because there would be more ambulance staff and more ambulances on the road, reducing the need for forced overtime shifts.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/ne ... g-staffing

Unhappy with ambulance response times, San Diego plans to take over staffing and billing control from Falck
https://www.lajollalight.com/news/story ... from-falck

Unhappy with ambulance response times, San Diego plans to take over staffing and billing control from Falck
https://www.delmartimes.net/news/story/ ... from-falck

San Diego to Oversee Falck Responsibilities
The city of San Diego will be taking over staffing and billing responsibilities from Falck after the ambulance service has fallen short in providing care.
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/videos/san- ... s/3168916/

City of San Diego Taking Action For Falck Ambulance Response Times
https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/ ... s/3170719/

San Diego Fire-Rescue moving forward with plans to manage EMS system
https://www.kpbs.org/news/health/2023/0 ... ems-system
Motrac Era
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2023 11:33 pm

Re: San Diego City switch ambulance providers for first time since 1997 to Falck Ambulance Company on November 27, 2021

Post by Motrac Era »

Observation: this seems to be a problem everywhere service is provided by for-profit ambulance contractors. When you have for-profit companies in the food chain, they make money by cutting staff or cutting other costs. They may be very serious about performance but goal of the organization is to make money. It's hard to imagine how cutting costs would ever improve response times or service quality. It's very tough to write contracts that force a commercial vendor to perform well.

The city should dump contractors and operate their own ambulance system. It would be a giant management challenge with a large startup cost, then you're finished with the reliance on someone who operates under conflicting objectives.
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