Stockton Dispatch Dispute Talks Dissolve; Opts for Trial - @ JEMS.com


Stockton Dispatch Dispute Talks Dissolve; Opts for Trial


 
 

Zachary K. Johnson | | Monday, November 12, 2007


STOCKTON, Calif. -- Talks between city and San Joaquin County officials have broken down and it appears a contentious lawsuit over who dispatches first responders to emergencies will go to trial in spring.

The two sides agreed in April to have an independent mediator help the agencies reach an out-of-court settlement. The talks went on for months, but ended last week.

City Council decided to discontinue settlement discussion with the county at this time, said City Attorney Ren Nosky.

Nosky and other city officials said they would not comment on the reasons behind a decision made Tuesday in closed session.

County Counsel David Wooten said Stockton decided it would rather go to trial just as the two sides were on the brink of reaching an agreement that would have settled the lawsuit and other conflicts surrounding emergency dispatch in the county. Such a global resolution also would have ended another long-standing lawsuit, this one between the city of Stockton and American Medical Response, Wooten said.

AMR also is the company San Joaquin County selected to provide exclusive ambulance services for most of San Joaquin County. County officials meant for AMR to dispatch all nonpolice emergencies in the county beginning in May 2006. But Stockton, Manteca and Lodi continued to use Stockton Fire Department s dispatch center. The county sued; the cities sued back.

It would have resolved all of the disputes, Wooten said.

Both sides in the county-city conflict say the law -- as well as the safety of county residents in emergency situations -- supports their respective cases.

The county has the right to govern dispatch and emergency services, said Victor Mow, chairman of the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors.

I would like to see this thing settled, he said. Although we may end up in court.

The Stockton Fire Department has a proven track-record when it comes to running an emergency dispatch center, said Charles Reese, an attorney representing Stockton.

I think the important thing is public safety be protected, he said.

Stockton Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Carl Eck said the city-county fight over 911 dispatching was not affecting his agency s ability to handle emergencies.

The system is functioning, he said. We re getting the resources to the people in the same amount of time.

AMR, which operates and dispatches ambulances for most of the county and handles other emergency dispatching for areas not covered by Stockton Fire Department, said the continuing lawsuit between the county and cities won t affect his company s operations, either.

We re still the contracted provider; we re still going to provide service, Sorrick said. This is not our dispute.

Contact reporter Zachary K. Johnson at (209) 546-8258 or zjohnson@recordnet.com


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Communications and Dispatch, Legal and Ethical

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >