Private 9-1-1/ALS Opportunity

EMT Rookie

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A couple weeks ago I’m reading up on some threads about the history of ALS operations in Orange County and LA County and why private medics and companies have been completely shut out....and then I just came across a press release today from the town of Placentia in Orange County who is asking for companies to bid on 911 ALS in their town - they’re covered by OCFA AND I learned on top of that that they actually told OCFA a few months ago that they didn’t want to re-up their contract or something like that....check out the info I came across on the city website. Www.placentia.org/fireems Www.placentia.org/fireemsrfp
 

Uclabruin103

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Looks like an effort to get a better contract from OCFA. Only real other option would be to contact to a private company for fire services. I fear for people if one of the privates OC ambulances get 911 services. The one I used to work at was a joke, every shift would have expired meds found in my box . That's just one example .
 

aquabear

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The separation of Fire and EMS services is interesting in this RFP, but I highly doubt the OC firefighters’ unions would let a private service do ALS, just look at the fear mongering they did when ALS IFT units were rolled out.

To complicate things, if a private ALS provider came in, the way I read the RFP, the ALS provider is still stuck with Emergency doing transports, and I don’t think a competing private ALS service would want to pay for ALS fly cars/squads, only to collect the ALS/BLS assessment fees and miss out on transport revenue. I would imagine if Emergency did bid on providing ALS, OCFA would make their lives a living nightmare in the rest of their service area out of simple pettiness.

I would sill LOL if OCFA lost the bid to another department though.
 

VentMonkey

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I agree with the above replies. This won’t change much.

I love and miss a lot of things about my old stomping grounds- this is certainly not one of them. The fire gargantuans will proceed as usual.

After skimming through the RFP link, the only applicable non-fire private would be LYNCH(?).

And as someone else already pointed out, they weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms by the knuckle-draggers.

I wonder if @deadhead has any insight regarding this Emergency! Ambulance EOA.

Haha, to bend over backwards for “Father Fire”. No thanks:).
 

ITBITB13

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I’m excited to see how this turns out.
I wonder if other cities will start going in the same direction after they see how much money is saved with private ALS response.
 

ITBITB13

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Only real other option would be to contact to a private company for fire services. .
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Falck has private fire resources in other countries and whatnot right?
I’m not too familiar with private fire departments in the US. Can somebody enlighten me?
 

VentMonkey

calpuleque
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I’m excited to see how this turns out.
I wonder if other cities will start going in the same direction after they see how much money is saved with private ALS.
Did you read the RFP? It doesn’t appear exclude OCFA from proposal.

Given their hands in the SoCal fire-driven “EMS” politics, do you really think much will change? Why would it?

I’m not trying to burst any bubbles, but realistically speaking it’s highly unlikely a private is going to swoop in and show the public down south how much more sense it makes.

Again, they’ve done an excellent job at pulling the wool over their publics eye for decades...decades.

Remember that time CARE wanted to staff ALS cars in OC? What happened to that idea?
I’m not too familiar with private fire departments in the US. Can somebody enlighten me?
I don’t know that it’s all too common anymore, but I’d reckon it’s similar to private EMS with regards to contracts and the like. Southwest (R/M) Ambulance used to (still does it?) do it in AZ.

CalFire contracts their fire services with certain counties in CA. However,I’m gonna let @CALEMT elaborate if he so desires.
 

Peak

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but Falck has private fire resources in other countries and whatnot right?
I’m not too familiar with private fire departments in the US. Can somebody enlighten me?
There are a number of private fire departments in wildland. There are some that will do structure protection for individuals rich enough to pay for it. Mostly they are small private contractors who get deployed to federal incidents; a lot of tender operators, a few type 6 crews, a smattering of other engine types, and a few helicopters. The vast majority of the support services (catering, potable water, showers, toilets...) are all contracted out.

There are a few private departments that are ran by industrial or other companies, but I don't know of any that are for profit for outside companies; think chemical plants, oil refineries, and so on.
 

Ensihoitaja

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Rural/Metro used to run some- they actually got their start doing fire protection for Scottsdale, AZ. That contract ended a while ago. They had a few other fire operations, but I'm not sure what happened to them after the AMR buyout, though.
 

DrParasite

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but Falck has private fire resources in other countries and whatnot right?
I’m not too familiar with private fire departments in the US. Can somebody enlighten me?
R/M is probably the biggest "private fire contractor," however they were booted from scottsdale in 2003. They do have provide some services in unincorporated areas of the US, however it's not much, but I guess it's better than nothing.

there are actually quite a few "private" FDs, but they are usually airport fire departments or wildland companies, or industrial fire brigades (and yes, R/M does provide some services, as does some police departments such as PAPD's ARFF in NYC). There are very few private municipal fire departments, unless you count the volunteer corporations that contract with a city or town to provide services. I knew a couple guys who work (or worked for them), and the young guys are all just killing time until they (or rather if they can) get hired by a municipal department; the older guys are counting the days until they can retired.

The fire service is VERY difficult to run privately, because in 99.99% of the US, the fire service is a black hole for money, and making a profit while maintaining good services is nearly impossible, especially for a reasonable price. EMS is a little better, because you can bill for services, but it's still tough to make a profit while maintaining top notch service.

Pick 2 of 3 options: cheap, good or fast; you can't do all three, which is why private for profit systems fail so often in the public safety world.
 

EMT Rookie

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Did you read the RFP? It doesn’t appear exclude OCFA from proposal.

Given their hands in the SoCal fire-driven “EMS” politics, do you really think much will change? Why would it?

I’m not trying to burst any bubbles, but realistically speaking it’s highly unlikely a private is going to swoop in and show the public down south how much more sense it makes.

Again, they’ve done an excellent job at pulling the wool over their publics eye for decades...decades.

Remember that time CARE wanted to staff ALS cars in OC? What happened to that idea?

I don’t know that it’s all too common anymore, but I’d reckon it’s similar to private EMS with regards to contracts and the like. Southwest (R/M) Ambulance used to (still does it?) do it in AZ.

CalFire contracts their fire services with certain counties in CA. However,I’m gonna let @CALEMT elaborate if he so desires.
I think this is an awesome opportunity. I don’t see anything in the rfp’s That prevents OCFA from submitting a proposal - I think it’s great that they’re being made to compete with everyone else. But that’s assuming they even bother to participate in the process. There is no way OCFA can compete with the private companies on cost alone - they will be 10x’s the cost of our company. Plus, they can’t compete on quality of care either. The fire component, who knows? The city can start its own little fire brigade with help from Brea and Fullerton FD.
 

EMT Rookie

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I’m excited to see how this turns out.
I wonder if other cities will start going in the same direction after they see how much money is saved with private ALS response.
I agree! The more I think about this the more I can see how much money cities can save every year by letting us do our jobs and handle ALS/BLS and let their fire guys put out fires.
 

VentMonkey

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I think this is an awesome opportunity. I don’t see anything in the rfp’s That prevents OCFA from submitting a proposal - I think it’s great that they’re being made to compete with everyone else. But that’s assuming they even bother to participate in the process. There is no way OCFA can compete with the private companies on cost alone - they will be 10x’s the cost of our company. Plus, they can’t compete on quality of care either. The fire component, who knows? The city can start its own little fire brigade with help from Brea and Fullerton FD.
It’s cool you’re hopeful and all, but I just don’t know that you fully understand the logistical challenges that a private company faces in attempts to provide ALS care in any parts of SoCal that they’ve yet to already established a footprint in.

Maybe it would be cost-efficient for the City of Placentia, but at what cost to the company? Where will all of these single role paramedics magically appear from?

Most paramedics aren’t invested in becoming the best paramedic that they can be. That’s just a fact. I work alongside many who are the same, as well as some who truly do care. Point being, the individual determines the quality of care, not the type of paramedic.

Traditionally, yes, fire-bases EMS has their hands in way too many honey jars. If I had to guess it’s a well-intended proposal that will either A) fall by the wayside, B) resume business as usual, or C) both.

It’s SoCal EMS—specifically LA/ OC EMS. You either leave, or you find a pocket that suits your liking. Also, I don’t know of any agency on this side of The Pond that call the FD a fire brigade, except perhaps the folks to the north of us:).
 

ITBITB13

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It’s cool you’re hopeful and all, but I just don’t know that you fully understand the logistical challenges that a private company faces in attempts to provide ALS care in any parts of SoCal that they’ve yet to already established a footprint in.

Maybe it would be cost-efficient for the City of Placentia, but at what cost to the company? Where will all of these single role paramedics magically appear from?

Most paramedics aren’t invested in becoming the best paramedic that they can be. That’s just a fact. I work alongside many who are the same, as well as some who truly do care. Point being, the individual determines the quality of care, not the type of paramedic.

It’s SoCal EMS—specifically LA/ OC EMS. You either leave, or you find a pocket that suits your liking. Also, I don’t know of any agency on this side of The Pond that call the FD a fire brigade, except perhaps the folks to the north of us:).
Well I’m not sure about the OC, but it wasn’t too long ago when single role paramedics existed in LA County. Then fire departments came along, and well you know how that turned out.
I’m sure the chances of it happening are slim. But money talks. There’s a chance that during the bidding process, Placentia will realize the cost difference, and wonder what the heck they were doing all along. And this could spread to other cities like a virus.
As far as medics magically appearing goes, I myself would jump all over the opportunity to be a single role paramedic in the OC or LA. And I’m sure I’m not the only one here who would love to do so.
Not all medics want to be fireman and vice versa.

While they’re at it, so cal FDs might as well take over Edison, and CalTrans, and the DWP.
But like I said, unfortunately the chances of this happening are probably slimmer than I would like to admit.

And let’s say it DOES happen, and EMS in Placentia goes private. Whatever company gets it will definitely be opening a can of worms with all SoCal fire departments, especially if they already have BLS transport contracts in other EOAs.

Another issue would be one that’s already a big one within private SoCal ems. Pay.

But with all that being said, there’s still a possibility to get the gears turning towards making SoCal EMS Private, and a “happy” world where medics like myself can work as a medic, and medic only.

Before all you fire guys start gaining up on me, please know I have nothing against Fire, Fire departments, or anything fire related. ;)
 

CCCSD

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It’s NOT “Fire guys”, it’s Medics and EMTs who have actually BTDT and have knowledge you don’t seem to appreciate. I don’t know how much you truly understand about EMS/FD/Contracts and such, but I’m betting slim to none.
 

ITBITB13

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It’s NOT “Fire guys”, it’s Medics and EMTs who have actually BTDT and have knowledge you don’t seem to appreciate. I don’t know how much you truly understand about EMS/FD/Contracts and such, but I’m betting slim to none.
My appreciation for private EMS has nothing to do with my appreciation for the fire service. I apologize if I came off to you in that way.
 

VentMonkey

calpuleque
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As far as medics magically appearing goes, I myself would jump all over the opportunity to be a single role paramedic in the OC or LA. And I’m sure I’m not the only one here who would love to do so.
Because of its location (a legitimate question, not a dig)? Why not move, or work 2 hours to the north, east, or west?

I work in a system that is what you’re describing as “happy”, but we’re still constantly looking to hire more paramedics to meet demands. It’s also very well established in its county, yet logistical challenges never cease to exist.

Add a heavy ALS fire-based presence in the neighboring cities. I’m just saying it’s a pipedream that’s been such by many for years...to include myself at one time.

To clarify what I meant~ they still need to agree to staff “X” amount of ALS cars, with county-approved ALS equipment with in whatever stipulative contract is ultimately draw up, staffing patterns, etc. All at the mercy of the city’s requests.

Also, privatized (for-profit) EMS should not exist in the “EMS” setting. In the IFT setting? Absolutely. But, I don’t want to open up another stale can of worms.

ETA~ Perhaps look in to taking, or auditing an EMS management course. Maybe you’ll walk away with a fresh perspective and some insight as to how these things work on the backside.
 

CCCSD

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My appreciation for private EMS has nothing to do with my appreciation for the fire service. I apologize if I came off to you in that way.
I’m not Fire, I have no dog in this hunt. I’m merely pointing out some lapses in information which vent monkey addressed above.

I work in an area that has a plethora of Fire Medics who don’t transport, and the ONLY reason they exist is to provide the FDs with a reason to staff so many engines per department. If they were funded per Fire response, they would be 1/4 career and 3/4 volley or PCF.

No skin off my nose when a typical scene has 5-6 medics ****ing around...it’s what the public wants. I’ve found that if I need things to move faster for the patient, I just remind them they are being recorded on my body worn camera. Magic.
 

Uclabruin103

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but Falck has private fire resources in other countries and whatnot right?
I’m not too familiar with private fire departments in the US. Can somebody enlighten me?
They would be more than capable of putting in a bid. I know of a one private company that put in a bid for a Southern Californian city. However, surrounding agencies could refuse to offer automatic aid to the company. And I believe there's some sort of law, making it difficult for an essential service to turn over to private.
 
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