PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ALAMEDA FIREFIGHTER’S ASSOCIATION
April 2, 2009
We have recently become aware that the City of Alameda Fire Department ambulance service will be “decertified”, likely this year, unless the City pays the current and past due balance of the Trauma Assessment Fee, as required, to the Alameda County EMS Agency. If the threatened decertification does occur, the City of Alameda Fire Department will no longer be able to offer an ambulance service to the citizens.
The City has intentionally chosen not to pay this fee since 2007 (approximately $650,000 per year). The City clears revenue of about $1.8 million annually from the Fire Department ambulance billing, yet funnels this money back into the General Fund.
Firefighters staff these ambulances and also respond to all fires. This is a service that has been provided by the Alameda Fire Department for 25 years. It is unknown what agency would provide this service.
The choice of not paying the bill, and resulting de-certification, will likely result in the layoff of many firefighters and drastically reduce the amount of on‐duty personal down to dangerous levels for both the citizens and firefighters. Along with the current practice of closing a fire company daily, on‐duty firefighter staffing and emergency response capabilities would drop to levels even more dangerous than the measures implemented in the post Proposition 13 period in the late 1970’s.
Domenick Weaver, President
Alameda Firefighers Association, IAFF Local 689