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Alameda City Council Votes to Negotiate $857,831 Emergency Medical Services Contract with Alameda County

Last night, Alameda City Council voted 5-0 to resolve a five-year old contract dispute with the Alameda County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency, and authorized the Interim City Manager to negotiate and execute an $857,831 per year contract with the County that would keep the Alameda Fire Department as the provider of paramedic services in the city, and reimburse the County for EMS District fees they don’t currently collect from Alameda residents.

The City of Alameda never asked voters to approve an assessment that would raise money through a parcel special assessment to contribute to a County-wide EMS District created in 1982. According to a City staff report, in 1997 the County and the City of Alameda reached an agreement under which the City of Alameda would pay the County EMS District an annual amount from the City’s General Fund that would be equal to the amount that would have been raised under a parcel tax assessment. A subsequent five year agreement and extension expired October 31, 2005, and the City of Alameda has been in negotiations with the County ever since. The $857,831 expenditure approved last night will come from the City’s General Fund and would cover a new one-year contract beginning, retroactively, July 1 2010 and running through to June 30, 2011.

Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant also said that her staff would begin work on preparing a Proposition 218 assessment measure to put before property owners that would levy a tax to fund emergency medical services. “We’re hoping to have this on the tax rolls for next year,” Ms. Gallant said. Gallant estimated that under such an assessment, single family homes would be taxed at the rate of roughly $26/year, two to five unit multifamily buildings at the rate of $63/year, hotels at $132/year, large apartment buildings at $395/year, and shopping centers at $185/year.

Gallant said that she hopes to bring a proposal back to Council early in January.

5 comments to Alameda City Council Votes to Negotiate $857,831 Emergency Medical Services Contract with Alameda County

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  • Barb

    Are we paying Alameda County $857,831 per year for services it doesn’t provide, while we pay our own Fire Department to provide those very same services? If so, is this to keep more employees in our fire department or stroke cases to Alameda Hospital?

  • We posed that question to Ann Marie Gallant, who had not responded before the article went to press. Here is what she wrote back:

    “These fees pay for the city’s proportionate share of the trauma centers and the administration of the EMS district for paramedic licensing of the city’s paramedics.”

    Here is a list of Alameda County-operated medical facilities:

    However, Gallant didn’t deny that we would in effect be paying for some services twice.

  • DHL

    we are paying a discounted amount relative to what every other city pays the county for trauma centers and other special costs. I don’t understand it completely but we’ve not paid for a decade, so this is a good deal. The discount probably has something to do with the fact that we have our own hospital but also user county hospitals? Dunno.

  • Using the fire department seems to be a waste of resources. Firefighters should be reserved for fires. If Alameda wants its own amublance service then contract it out or add it to the hospital. Have you noticed every ambulance call has two or three fire engines and all lights and sirens blaring even thought studies show that sirens do not speed up short drives and do not add to the viability of the treatment service. Save the sirens and engines for fires not medical calls.

  • ALAMEDA FIRE: Live fire training at AFD Training Center (Alameda Point) today, 9 am - 12 pm, and tomorrow, 9 am - 4… ,
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