County Gives Company $11k Per Month Bonus To Ensure Desert Ambulance Service

The county board of supervisors this week approved augmenting the sole-source contract it currently maintains with an ambulance service provider with an $11,000 per month payment to ensure the delivery of advanced life support ambulance service in a remote desert area of the county, the most heavily traveled part of which is the I-15 Freeway to Las Vegas.
The company in question is Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc., with which the board of supervisors on September 28, 2004 approved a performance-based contract, making Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc. the provider of advanced life services in what is designated as County’s Exclusive Operating Area 23, which serves the greater Baker area but extends from approximately 20 miles south of the town of Baker to the California/Nevada state-line, and as far west as approximately 3 miles east of Trona, with the majority of transports occurring along the I-15 corridor from Baker to Stateline. “This area is a very low population density area, with the total number of advanced life services transports totaling 350 in 2012,” said San Bernardino County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux. “This extremely low volume can be challenging for advanced life support providers who are required to provide 24/7 coverage, as is the case for Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc. As a result of the Exclusive Operating Area 23 challenges, combined with more recent changes seen in the emergency medical service reimbursement environment that has resulted in decreased revenues, Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc has communicated to the county its concerns regarding its ability to continue to provide advanced life support services in Exclusive Operating Area 23. If Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc. was to terminate service, Exclusive Operating Area 23 would be left with no public or private advanced life support ambulances in close proximity to respond to emergencies. In order to ensure that advanced life support services continue uninterrupted in Exclusive Operating Area 23 while the county explores a permanent solution to the problem, it is recommended that the county enter into an agreement with Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc., separate from its Performance-Based Contract No. 04-1028 for Exclusive Operating Area 23, that would provide funding to Baker Emergency Medical Services, Inc. in the amount of $11,000 per month on a month-to-month basis, for the one-year term. This contract can be terminated by either party, for any reason, with a 30-day notice. The county will continue to explore all options to ensure that the long-term safety of the public is maintained.”
The contract pertains to keeping the advanced life support service equipment and facilities in place in the Baker area on a month-to-month basis, for the period of January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, in the amount of $11,000 per month, for a total amount not to exceed $132,000.

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