California County Delays Contract Talks

Board of supervisors vote to hold off negotiations for new ambulance provider.


 
 

JOHN WOOLFOLK, San Jose Mercury News | | Thursday, August 26, 2010


A divided Santa Clara County board of supervisors Tuesday voted to hold off on negotiations for a new ambulance provider to allow more time to review competing proposals for the five-year contract.

County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith had asked the board to authorize negotiations with low-bidder Rural/Metro Corp. of Arizona. If those talks failed to produce a deal, the county would stick with Colorado-based American Medical Response, which has been providing the service in one form or another since the 1930s.

But supervisors Don Gage, Liz Kniss and Ken Yeager argued for more time for the public to review the proposals, plus an assessment of the companies' financial viability and any financial relationships they have with local cities.

"Just because one is the low bidder doesn't mean they're the best for the job," Gage said.

It was unclear how much Tuesday's vote would delay the process, but supervisors still hope to award the five-year contract valued at $375 million in December.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Milpitas Mayor Robert Livengood had questioned whether the smaller Rural/Metro company is up to the task.

"They need to do due diligence to get this right," Reed said afterward.

San Jose worked with AMR to develop its proposal in hope of recovering more of the city's emergency medical response costs for its firefighters, who typically are first to arrive on the scene. City officials have said San Jose recovers only about a third of its costs, essentially creating a $3.1 million annual subsidy to the county, other cities and the ambulance service.

Supervisors Dave Cortese and George Shirakawa, Jr., favored initiating talks with Rural/Metro. Cortese criticized Reed for seeking a delay, questioning whether the mayor's comments could invite a lawsuit by the losing company. Rural/Metro officials declined comment.

"I have to represent the people of San Jose," Reed countered "and sometimes I have to speak up."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, politics, contract

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Medics, Firefighter Keep Working in Crash

Rural Metro medics describe crash that overturned their ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Drone Delays Landing of Ohio Medical Helicopter

Miami Valley Hospital incident raises questions over legalities of drones.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Building Explosion, Collapse in Paris Suburb

Death toll rises to eight after blast in Rosny-sous-Bois.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

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


More Product Videos >