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Alameda County, CA

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
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Hiring for nearly all positions (mostly Paramedics) in Alameda County as Falck transitions to 911 contract provider.

Starting wage ~$24.XX/hr
Top step strike (night) medic makes ~$43.XX

 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,524
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The FD is no longer going to run the EMS system?
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
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FD never has.
Berkeley, Piedmont and Alameda City FDs have transport but County contract has always been private.
 
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captaindepth

Forum Lieutenant
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If Berkeley, Piedmont, and Alameda all have their own transport services, where will Falk be responding? Oakland and San Leandro? Is the system going to be 911 only or will there be interfacility transfers as well? Also are the local FDs ALS or BLS departments? Will Falk medics have medical control on all calls? What does the estimated yearly call volume look like? Just curious, I grew up in Oakland and have always been curious how the system operates there.
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
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Oakland, San Leandro, Fremont, Union City, Newark, Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton.... everywhere but Berkeley, Piedmont and Alameda City (until they draw down).

All FDs are ALS and each has their own EMS culture. Most defer to transporting medic upon arrival but some (crew dependent) may play a power card every now and again.

The paramedics we are hiring are for the 911 division. Currently we do zero IFT and is my understanding this will be maintained.

ALCO is a busy system. I do not have figures in front of me.
 

captaindepth

Forum Lieutenant
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Wow, for some reason I never really knew how big Alameda county was. I would imagine with all of those different cities/towns and the geographic divides there would be multiple operations/stations/jurisdictions for ambulance crews (for example, if you're running in Oakland you wouldn't get a call in Fremont or Pleasanton), is that an accurate assumption? What about hospitals and trauma centers, are there multiple level 1s within that large of an area? The only Falck system I have exposure to is the Aurora CO system and from what I have heard/seen it is less than Ideal and not a great place to work, but like AMR I would assume its system dependent.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,524
994
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Oh, city and county are different, yet same name.... I thought they only had one system for EMS, and didn't realize the county did one thing and the cities did another; especially since the cities are located within the county. Very interesting
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
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We have 4 zones (North/Central/South/East) with North/Central being Oakland/SL/Hayward/CV/Emeryville etc sharing units and trying to keep the South and East units in their zones. That said, it is common for low levels in the North to necessitate pulling units from all over. It is not ideal but the system is very dynamic.
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
1,286
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Oh, city and county are different, yet same name.... I thought they only had one system for EMS, and didn't realize the county did one thing and the cities did another; especially since the cities are located within the county. Very interesting
CA Health and Safety code 1797.200 states that as of June 1, 1980, the counties can/will set up local EMSA which is responsible for oversight and contracting for EMS. Section .201 states that if a City/FD had been offering such services prior to June 1, 1980 then they maintain the rights to offer the same service.

If I understand it correctly, agencies without such “201 rights” cannot simply buy ambulances and start transporting; they are subject to their respective County program.
 
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PotatoMedic

Has no idea what I'm doing.
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Ahhh the dirty bird is growing. They do have good benefits and a great 401k. But I left their nw operation and don't think 43 a hour would even bring me back.
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
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Ahhh the dirty bird is growing. They do have good benefits and a great 401k. But I left their nw operation and don't think 43 a hour would even bring me back.
Correction:
Top step night medic $48.74
Starting May 1, 2019: $49.96

Did I mention there are 13 wage steps?
 

captaindepth

Forum Lieutenant
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Ahhh the dirty bird is growing. They do have good benefits and a great 401k. But I left their nw operation and don't think 43 a hour would even bring me back.
Sounds like you have some pretty strong feelings about your experience there, can you elaborate? Like I said earlier, the only Falck system I have seen is the Aurora CO system and I know for a fact I wouldn't go there for 43/hr. Why is there this theme of their systems being so bad?



Correction:
Top step night medic $48.74
Starting May 1, 2019: $49.96

Did I mention there are 13 wage steps?
$50/hr is a bold number. What are the criteria for the wage steps? Is it years of experience, additional qualifications/certifications, etc... ?

Are all the folks from Paramedics Plus getting to laterally transfer directly into the Falk operation, or is Falk starting this contract from complete scratch?

Thanks for answering all the questions, it's nice to peak into how other systems work/operate in a familiar area.
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
1,286
907
113
Sounds like you have some pretty strong feelings about your experience there, can you elaborate? Like I said earlier, the only Falck system I have seen is the Aurora CO system and I know for a fact I wouldn't go there for 43/hr. Why is there this theme of their systems being so bad?





$50/hr is a bold number. What are the criteria for the wage steps? Is it years of experience, additional qualifications/certifications, etc... ?

Are all the folks from Paramedics Plus getting to laterally transfer directly into the Falk operation, or is Falk starting this contract from complete scratch?

Thanks for answering all the questions, it's nice to peak into how other systems work/operate in a familiar area.
1 calendar year = 1 step
Outside experience counts 2:1 (e.g. 10 years as a paramedic elsewhere = Step 5). Not sure if there is a cap on outside experience.

All current field employees are transitioning over per the contract.
 

RocketMedic

King of the Improbable
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This interests me. Any credit for college degrees, what kind of equipment and vehicles, and what shifts?
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
1,286
907
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No educational credit.
New fleet of 44(?) T3 ambulances. LP15s.
Shifts are being finalized but has been a mix of 12/42s (long/short weeks). Either same days/week or some rotating on a 2 week cycle (e/o weekend off).
 

PotatoMedic

Has no idea what I'm doing.
1,982
902
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The operation I worked in was... Amazing the first two years. Cared about their employees, had great moral, was doing really well. Then they shut down all communication to their employees. Imposed draconian rules. Supervisors were supposed to provide clinical direction for nurses and medics and none were either. Started losing contracts because 50% of all employees quit within 6 months. And 80% within a year. Most going back to old jobs and not moving on. Heck even the ops manager quit because the GM refused to let him do his job.
 

gotbeerz001

Forum Deputy Chief
1,286
907
113
FWIW, Alameda County has always been a top tier system to work in. For CA, the med direction is progressive and there really is a culture from the LEMSA of empowering the medic to make good decisions as opposed to simply following a protocol. The exiting provider has had a very rocky relationship with the field personnel which has caused a lot of career paramedics to seek employment elsewhere.
That said, the COO of the incoming operation has roots in the County and is committed to bringing back the culture that made this County a highly desirable place to work. It will not happen overnight, but people that I respect believe that it is more than just smoke.
 
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