Falck San Diego not meeting contractual agreements

CbrMonster

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I saw this coming as soon as they took over the contract

They screwed up orange/la county, alameda county, why expect any different in San Diego county.



 

Aprz

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It's interesting that they "screw up" all of these Californian cities and counties. Maybe these LEMSA have unrealistic expectations that lead them into contracts that can't be done. You can say all you want that you're gonna have this many unit hours, but wasn't there already a problem with paramedic staffing before hand? This was not a shocker. I don't like private companies, but this is not a problem exclusive to them.
 

SandpitMedic

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All over the country with many private ambo companies. Not surprised to see Falck on the list in SD.
AMR and Rural Metro had the same issues which was how Falck even got into SD.

The problem (as others have alluded to) is staffing because - you guessed it- $alary woes.

On an aside… I was down in SD last weekend and I saw Falck is stationed in Fire Stations with the firefighters. The Falck EMS crew was outside washing the engine… like wtf.
 
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CbrMonster

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It's interesting that they "screw up" all of these Californian cities and counties. Maybe these LEMSA have unrealistic expectations that lead them into contracts that can't be done. You can say all you want that you're gonna have this many unit hours, but wasn't there already a problem with paramedic staffing before hand? This was not a shocker. I don't like private companies, but this is not a problem exclusive to them.
I think employees of care ambulance service that are picketing that worked prior to falck buying them up would say different. They about a month ago publicly posted a vote of no confidence concerning cares/faclks management. I have a few close friends I talk to that still work there.

From what others have told me about alameda, equipment isn’t being maintained, such as radios being held together with duct tape.

So yes I’d say falck has shown traditionally por performance in the counties they have taken over, not necessarily just response times, but employee satisfaction. Falck hasn’t performed well from the reports I’ve seen since day one in alameda and they’ve had that contract for a couple of years now.

Either way though at the end of the day falck signed a contract stating what they would do and failed to do so.
 

Aprz

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I think employees of care ambulance service that are picketing that worked prior to falck buying them up would say different. They about a month ago publicly posted a vote of no confidence concerning cares/faclks management. I have a few close friends I talk to that still work there.

From what others have told me about alameda, equipment isn’t being maintained, such as radios being held together with duct tape.

So yes I’d say falck has shown traditionally por performance in the counties they have taken over, not necessarily just response times, but employee satisfaction. Falck hasn’t performed well from the reports I’ve seen since day one in alameda and they’ve had that contract for a couple of years now.

Either way though at the end of the day falck signed a contract stating what they would do and failed to do so.
I think maybe your Care friends are making the mistake of thinking correlation implies causation. Falck took us over, things are bad now, so it is Falck's fault. Yeh? They think this isn't happening everywhere else? Lol, okay.
 
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CbrMonster

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I think maybe your Care friends are making the mistake of thinking correlation implies causation. Falck took us over, things are bad now, so it is Falck's fault. Yeh? They think this isn't happening everywhere else? Lol, okay.
That maybe.

Falck cut a lot of benefits and perks care had which is probably also why employees aren’t very satisfied. Each year they say it gets worse and worse there. Also been repeatedly told that their working conditions continue to get worse every year.
 
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SandpitMedic

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Falck is a private security firm. Group4Falck/ Group4Securicor/Wackenhut

Falck ambulances are run the way their private security sector is run- like almost every other private security. Bare bones.

Security guards also make **** wages with little to no investment in them or their equipment by their company. I never worked for Falck Ambulance but I did work for Wackenhut and later Group4Falck when I was in my late teens/early 20s before becoming an EMT. Seems like nothing has changed except the battle to advance EMS got sent back to 0 by a private security firm getting in the mix.
 

DrParasite

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Can someone share some insight into what the issues are? If Falck isn't meeting response times, due to lack of funding from the city for more units, than I can't see this as a Falck issue (but it is an all too common one). If Falck isn't staffing enough ambulances, due to lack of available staff, then I fail to see how brining in another provider will fix that (likely the providers in the city will just apply to the new company that has the contract), as they will still be a limit of available providers.

I did see there being discussion of the FD running EMS in house. likely with better salaries and better retirement benefits, but much more expensive than outsourcing to a private company. It's almost as if giving more money for a service will result in fewer issues.
 

MEDicJohn

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A lot of the Medics EMTs saw and heard what had happened with Falk over the acquisition of Care orange county and the miss handling of Alameda. From my talks with SD medics they were complaining that the Falk incentives were horrible and they would rather stay with AMR or go to Mercy.
 

E tank

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Can anyone shed any light on why 3rd service isn't a more popular compromise between fire and private based EMS? More expensive than private but less so than fire and comes with city/county level administrative teeth etc....
 

ffemt8978

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Can anyone shed any light on why 3rd service isn't a more popular compromise between fire and private based EMS? More expensive than private but less so than fire and comes with city/county level administrative teeth etc....
Money? Third service would mean a pretty hefty increaee in costs when you factor in benefits that would have to be paid for third service which arent an issue in the other two. Fire is already staffed so the increase in costs isnt really noticable, and private services the government doesn't see those costs either.
 

DesertMedic66

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Can someone share some insight into what the issues are? If Falck isn't meeting response times, due to lack of funding from the city for more units, than I can't see this as a Falck issue (but it is an all too common one). If Falck isn't staffing enough ambulances, due to lack of available staff, then I fail to see how brining in another provider will fix that (likely the providers in the city will just apply to the new company that has the contract), as they will still be a limit of available providers.

I did see there being discussion of the FD running EMS in house. likely with better salaries and better retirement benefits, but much more expensive than outsourcing to a private company. It's almost as if giving more money for a service will result in fewer issues.
As far as I am aware Falck has a normal CA style contract where there is no funding from the city and instead Falck pays the city X amount of money to operate in the city.
 

E tank

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Fire is already staffed so the increase in costs isnt really noticable, and private services the government doesn't see those costs either.
Already staffed (and equipped) for full service EMS? Assuming a 10 ambulance day shift, accounting for days off, vacation and sick time, that's at least 25-30 FTE's. FD pay structure, salary, benefits, FD retirement? Fire departments (generalizing) are in a class by themselves for that stuff. Your department have 25 guys just sitting around? A true 3rd Service would not have to operate under those criteria. And for counties with multiple fire agencies with different budgets, it would be a way bigger hassle.
 

ffemt8978

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Already staffed (and equipped) for full service EMS? Assuming a 10 ambulance day shift, accounting for days off, vacation and sick time, that's at least 25-30 FTE's. FD pay structure, salary, benefits, FD retirement? Fire departments (generalizing) are in a class by themselves for that stuff. Your department have 25 guys just sitting around? A true 3rd Service would not have to operate under those criteria. And for counties with multiple fire agencies with different budgets, it would be a way bigger hassle.
True, but elected officials don't necessarily view it that way. It is a much easier sell to the public that you're using fire for EMS since they're already on duty and available...even though the truth is what you pointed out.
 

DrParasite

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Can anyone shed any light on why 3rd service isn't a more popular compromise between fire and private based EMS? More expensive than private but less so than fire and comes with city/county level administrative teeth etc....
I think it's in the contract:
As far as I am aware Falck has a normal CA style contract where there is no funding from the city and instead Falck pays the city X amount of money to operate in the city.
3rd service costs money for the city to run; in a typical CA style contract, the city is able to generate revenue from Falck. Makes me wonder why anyone would enter into an agreement to pay to provide a service to the city, but what do I know?

Plus, many 3rd services are still expected to break even, or at least come close; a FD is a known and acceptable black hole for money, and is NEVER expected to make anywhere near a profit. So if you spend more on the black hole that is the FD, it's ok, because that's just how the FD has always operated.
Fire is already staffed so the increase in costs isnt really noticable,
So they are going to pull staff off the engine to go on the ambulance? What's going to happen when the engine ends up short (or OOS) due to an EMS call, and they have a fatal fire in their first due... want guess what the union, media, and general public will be saying then?
 
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CbrMonster

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As far as I am aware Falck has a normal CA style contract where there is no funding from the city and instead Falck pays the city X amount of money to operate in the city.
Per the articles under contract falck is paying 9mil/year to operate its company in the city with yearly profits of 75mil.
 
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CbrMonster

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Can someone share some insight into what the issues are? If Falck isn't meeting response times, due to lack of funding from the city for more units, than I can't see this as a Falck issue (but it is an all too common one). If Falck isn't staffing enough ambulances, due to lack of available staff, then I fail to see how brining in another provider will fix that (likely the providers in the city will just apply to the new company that has the contract), as they will still be a limit of available providers.

I did see there being discussion of the FD running EMS in house. likely with better salaries and better retirement benefits, but much more expensive than outsourcing to a private company. It's almost as if giving more money for a service will result in fewer issues.


 

DesertMedic66

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I think it's in the contract:

3rd service costs money for the city to run; in a typical CA style contract, the city is able to generate revenue from Falck. Makes me wonder why anyone would enter into an agreement to pay to provide a service to the city, but what do I know?

Plus, many 3rd services are still expected to break even, or at least come close; a FD is a known and acceptable black hole for money, and is NEVER expected to make anywhere near a profit. So if you spend more on the black hole that is the FD, it's ok, because that's just how the FD has always operated.

So they are going to pull staff off the engine to go on the ambulance? What's going to happen when the engine ends up short (or OOS) due to an EMS call, and they have a fatal fire in their first due... want guess what the union, media, and general public will be saying then?
Falck signs an agreement with the city that says “we will pay you guys X million per year to be able to be the sole 911 transport agency in your city and bill the patients insurance”.

This appeals to the city as they are not having to pay anything for transport services and instead make money because of the contract.

Typically in the contract they city can add in other stipulations such as “your company must handle all the 5150 transports (psych holds), or for every minute you are late to a call you owe us $1,000, or you must purchase all the medical equipment for our city fire department and we will reimburse you $1 for $1 but we know you get discounts on medical supplies because you buy in bulk so it’s cheaper for the city, etc”.

The contracts that companies propose to the city are not how much we want from the city instead it’s how much we will pay the city.
 
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