CONSULTANT STUDY AVAILABLE
The City of Costa Mesa has posted a link to the 51-page report from consultants A.P. Triton, LLC titled "CMFD Ambulance Service Feasibility Study
", which can be viewed HERE.
OFFSHOOT OF CHIEF ARNOLD'S PLAN
This study has been a long time coming and is an offshoot of the deployment model created by former Interim Fire Chief Tom Arnold
a few years ago which was presented several times to the City Council. Part of that model involved the acquisition of six Paramedic Rescue Vans and would include the transportation of accident victims and others by those vans and produce significant revenues to the City as a result. The current private transport ambulance service would be dropped under that plan.
WE BOUGHT THE VANS, BUT...
For reasons unclear at this time - but about which we can speculate - Arnold's plan never seemed to get the attention needed to fully implement it. The six vans were acquired - to the tune of more than $1.6 million - nearly 18 months ago and the deployment model was tentative due to the need to make significant repairs/replacements to fire stations. Right now we have three (3) of the six deployed - sometimes four (4) - with the others in reserve awaiting final decisions and staffing authorizations. And, Arnold's model included a cost savings by closing our newest, most modern fire station - #6, on the north side of the I-405 Freeway.
CHIEF STEFANO WILL PRESENT IN JANUARY
Fire Chief Dan Stefano
has been working hard to massage this process and this effort by consultants on our behalf is the most recent step. This report was received the afternoon of the last City Council meeting, so Stefano and his staff had not had a chance to digest it. He gave a very short, un-agendized, presentation to the council during CEO Tom Hatch
's reporting time, during which Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer
demanded that a cost estimate for paramedics to be assigned to the private haulers be included in the presentation of this study, to be heard by the council in January. To those of us observing it seemed like a ploy to perpetuate the participation of private haulers in this process. It will come as no surprise to know that the current hauler, CARE Ambulance
- which holds the contract worth several million dollars each year - is a significant campaign contributor to Righeimer.
INVESTIGATION OF A FAMILY CONNECTION?
Of even greater interest is persistent rumor - as yet unsubstantiated - about the possibility of a familial connection to the Danish owner of CARE Ambulance, Falck Corporation
, to Righeimer's family. Falck also owns G4S Secure Solutions, the outsourced company that secured a contract worth around $60,000 per month to manage our Jail. Interested parties are investigating this issue,
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
When you read this report - I have, twice - you'll see that the option shown on the chart below from the report that seems to make the most sense is option #2, which has the Costa Mesa Fire Department assume ALL
medical transport responsibilities and results in over $4 million in NEW
revenue to the city. It's going to be very interesting to see what kind of a report Stefano and Hatch put together for the council early next year, and what part Righeimer's demands play in it.
WHAT ABOUT STATIONS 1 AND 6... AND THE CONTRACT?
There are many issues to consider in this complex puzzle, including the future of the Metro Station - Station #6 - now that more high and mid-rise development is in the works for the north side of the freeway. Also, the future of Station #1, on Royal Palm in the Mesa Verde section of town, is under consideration and $8 million has been bandied around as the cost to replace that aging structure at it's current location. However, there is in existence a previous consultant study that proposes an alternate location for that facility that seems to have been all but forgotten. Again, there are many pieces to this puzzle. And kind of lost in the shuffle is the fact that the firefighters are working without a contract. This uncertainty complicates recruitment and management issues.
STUDY THE REPORT AND WRITE...
So, take some time between now and the new year to read through the Feasibility Study and voice your opinions to Hatch, Stefano and your council members. I know they will love to hear from you.
Labels: CARE Ambulance, CMFD, Dan Stefano, Jim Righeimer, Paramedic Vans, Tom Arnold