EL CENTRO – The Imperial County Board of Supervisors agreed to approve and authorized Mission Ambulance, Inc. to provide emergency ambulance services in Zone III, the area north of the Highway 86 Border Patrol Checkpoint and west of the Salton Sea in Imperial County effective Friday, April 8. The change came after receiving notification from Morongo Basin Ambulance Association, Inc., that they would no longer provide emergency ambulance services in that area starting April 1, 2016. The board voted unanimously in favor during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.
“Historically is has been a fairly difficult zone to provide ambulance services to,” said Chris Herring, Imperial County Emergency Medical Services manager. “For the providers that are out there, it is not a high dollar annual income.”
On February 24, 2016 the EMS Agency received an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Ambulance Service Provider Application from Mission Ambulance, Inc. requesting authorization to provide emergency ambulance services in Zone III. Mission Ambulance, Inc. has provided basic life support (BLS) and critical care transport (CCT) services in Riverside and Orange Counties since March 2000.
In addition, Mission Ambulance, Inc. will provide ground 9-1-1 emergency ambulance services within Zone III and will also be required to provide continuous and uninterrupted service with a minimum of one fully staffed, equipped, and response ready ALS (paramedic) ambulance within Zone III. The performance standards include the standard low-density response time zone requirements adopted by the Board which requires placing an ALS ambulance on-scene of a 9-1-1 emergency within forty-five minutes, 90 percent of the time.
The term agreement effective dates will be from April 8, 2016 to April 7, 2020.
“We definitely need an ambulance service out there, we are kind of far from everybody which makes it hard,” said Forrest Kerr, vice chairman, Salton Community Services District. “From the various people I have talked and from what I have heard, Mission Ambulance will be an excellent provider at this time.”
On February 9, 2016, the Public Health Department’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency received notification from Morongo Basin Ambulance Association, Inc. that in order to maintain ambulance services for the Morongo Basin communities they would no longer be able to provide emergency ambulance services in Zone III effective April 1, 2016.
On March 3, 2015 the Board authorized Morongo Basin Ambulance Association, Inc. to provide emergency ambulance services within Zone III. Morongo Basin Ambulance began operations in Zone III on March 4, 2016 and has maintained operations at the level specified in their agreement. Between March 4, 2015 and February 9, 2016, Morongo Basin Ambulance responded to 692 requests for emergency ambulance service.