City Council to Review Falck Ambulance Services Amid EMT Hiring Challenges 

 May 7, 2022

Falck ambulance
A Falck ambulance to San Diego. Courtesy of the company

An update on the city’s new ambulance service is set to be presented to a San Diego City Council committee this week, amid ongoing company staffing challenges and critical news.

The review prepared for Committee on Public Safety and Sustainable Neighborhoods required as part of the city contract with Falck Mobile Health Corporationwhich replaced the provider for a long time American Medical Response last November.

It has been a difficult start since the contract was approved in June. There were syntactically and news that criticize the first attempts. The employees of the Fire and Rescue Service were not happy either.

In a May 5 letter to the council committee, fire chief Colin Stowell said the company was having trouble finding staff. This is an issue that has plagued Falck since the beginning of his tenure in San Diego.

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Monica Munoz, head of media services for the city, said that Falck is still fighting but “working on it”. He also had some good news.

“As far as we know, no one who has called 9-1-1 and needed medical help has refused that help,” he said. “We are in the process of examining and verifying the data from the first months of their operation.”

Falck’s Jeff Lucia had no argument with the criticism. He said he was aware they had no staff but were working on the problem, explaining that the company had “continuously invested in double pay plus bonuses for paramedics and EMTs working extra shifts, along with extended recruitment and recruitment bonuses of up to $ 12,000 for nurses and referral bonuses up to $ 6,000 ».

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“Our response time response in San Diego has been steadily improving since February, when the Omicron wave began to subside and we have met or exceeded conventional response time requirements for all priority levels in all zones since early April.” added Lucia.

ΤThe company could face sanctions for its past problems, according to a letter from Stowell to the commission. “The Fire and Rescue Department is completing the sanctioning methodology as well as the final analysis of response data to determine Falck’s performance over the last quarter,” he wrote.

Munoz said a fine could possibly be imposed, but “this has not been finalized yet.”

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The briefing on emergency services is on the agenda of the council committee meeting on Tuesday 18 May.

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