Fire departments provide good medical service

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 - 3:02 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 - 11:17 am

Re "Another View: Sacramento can save money by contracting out ambulance service" (Another View, Jan. 31): In response to the ambulance industry's piece proposing to integrate private ambulances into the city dispatch system on a rotating basis, I want to point out some key facts.

First, we have a regional dispatch center which dispatches all 911 calls for fire agencies in Sacramento County, including the four agencies that provide ambulance transport Sacramento, Sac Metro, Cosumnes, and Folsom.

Second, rotating emergency calls is incompatible with the long-established practice of dispatching the closest available unit, regardless of where the emergency occurs or which agency responds. The county believes this practice best serves the public interest.

Third, the fire agencies recover most emergency medical service costs through health insurance reimbursement and provide indigent care at no cost to the County.

Finally, I am proud to state our center, in operation for more than 20 years, is recognized as a model system among its peers.

-- Teresa Murray, Chief Executive Director, Sacramento Regional Fire/EMS Communications Center, Sacramento

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