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San Joaquin County OKs San Andreas Ambulance Operations

STOCKTON, Calif. -- An ambulance company providing on-the-spot medical services at sporting events will continue to do so in San Joaquin County, Calif., after operating without a county-issued permit.

County officials said San Andreas Ambulance was now complying with everything it needed to do to stay open for business, but things were different in September, when the county s Emergency Medical Services department refused to renew the company s permit, which had expired more than a year earlier. EMS denied the application because the company failed to provide requested documents and had operated without county authorization.

EMS Administrator Dan Burch said San Andreas Ambulance has provided all requested documents and will be able to operate under a probation agreement.

San Joaquin County contracts exclusively with American Medical Response for emergency ambulance services, but San Andreas Ambulance does not respond to 911 calls in the county. The company -- which does business under the name Xtreme Sports Medical -- is one of three other ambulance companies that can stand watch at high school football games and other sporting events, Burch said.

Why it s important to be regulated and monitored is so we can ensure quality, he said.

Company owner Dale Jones said San Andreas Ambulance does not transport injured patients from the sports field; that is still the job of an emergency-response ambulance.

His company s standing in the county became an issue on Aug. 18, when the company provided care to a seriously injured motorcycle rider at Lodi Cycle Bowl, according to the county.

Jones said he thought he had cleared up any issues with county staffers in phone conversations after the county sent him a letter on Aug. 21 ordering him to stop operations. The company provided stand-by medical services at a St. Mary s High School football game last month.

San Andreas Ambulance had served Calaveras County for 35 years. In 2005, it was one of two ambulance companies replaced when Calaveras County made exclusive operating agreements with other service providers.

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

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