System Redesign – EMS Update #2


Hello everyone.

This latest update comes to you after a significant event in the process of gaining stability in our EMS system so that we can continue to advance the EMS system redesign and RFP process we began several months ago.

Today, the Board of Supervisors approved a contract amendment with Paramedics Plus which will keep them here at least until the end of their current contract – and even longer if we need extensions to complete the RFP process. The contract amendment does away with the walk-away provision in their contract. Contract amendment language that was acceptable to both parties was worked out between our County Administrators Office and Auditor and the leadership at Paramedics Plus. This contract amendment language was a significant and positive step in the process we’ve been involved in for nearly a year. This is very good news for our EMS system.

We still face many challenges – including funding challenges, revenue and reimbursement challenges, and system design challenges – but the environment for addressing those challenges is much better today now that we have the stability we needed to continue moving forward. Working with our consultants and our system partners, we will continue the process of taking an honest and open-minded look at how our system currently operates.

Our goal remains to continue providing a system that maintains our current levels of clinical and operational excellence while making it sustainable financially for the long term.

That last sentence really crystallizes our goal for this project. It would be easy to keep the status quo if we were bringing in all the revenue we needed to maintain things as they are. But we aren’t. That’s the reality we have to deal with – and we will deal with it.

As we continue to go through the redesign phase for our system, please remember to approach this effort with one thought as the foundation principle: what’s best for our system and the next person who needs emergency medical care in our County. This is what should guide your thinking. Any other approach steers us away from the path we need to be on.

Our consultants have been meeting with a number of partners and stakeholder groups in an effort to get input on questions, concerns, and ideas. They’ve also been spending a lot of time analyzing data from our system in an effort to help drive our discussions and potential avenues for exploration and examination. Getting a realistic perspective on our system baselines is the appropriate way to plan. The alternative is to base our decisions on supposition and anecdote – a much weaker foundation on which to build.

Thank you to all of you who have continued to work so hard during what’s been a difficult time in our system’s history. Our system has never faltered during this process. That’s a testament to all of you – to the professionalism and dedication you bring to our system every day. You should continue to be proud of the work you’ve done and will do as our system matures. We recognize and value your efforts.


Fred Claridge

EMS Director

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