Contract awarded to new ambulance service provider

Contract awarded to new ambulance service provider
San Diego County officials awarded an eight-year contract to American Medical Response to provide emergency medical response services to the San Dieguito Ambulance District, which includes coastal North County, Rancho Santa Fe and parts of Elfin Forest Photo courtesy AMR

RANCHO SANTA FE — Starting the first of the year, Rancho Santa Fe, along with several other North County coastal cities will have a new 911 emergency medical services provider. 

In October, San Diego County officials awarded a new eight-year contract to AMR (American Medical Response) to serve the area known as the San Dieguito Ambulance District, or CSA-17.

The CSA-17 district covers the communities of Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach and parts of Elfin Forest.

Rural/Metro Corporation, the current service provider, AMR and fire agencies have begun talks on making the transition.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Gibbs of the Rancho Santa Fe Fire District said he doesn’t think there will be any challenges when it comes to the switchover, likening it to the one stepping into the footprint of the other.

While the RSF Fired Department doesn’t have any ambulances in its fleet of emergency vehicles, the CSA-17 contract provides the ambulances for the department and the others in the district.

Dave Austin, director of administration at AMR and who will serve as the program manager, said they’ll be providing six new ambulances; five of those will be 24-hour service and one a 12-hour ambulance.

The ambulances will be staged at Solana Beach Fire Station No. 1, Encinitas Station No. 2 and No. 5, and Rancho Santa Fe Stations 1, 2, and 4.

The staging of ambulances will remain the same as it has been under Rural/Metro.

“For any type of call that’s medical-related, whether that would be a vehicle accident, any type of rescue, a medical aid there will always be an ambulance attached with a Rancho Santa Fe fire engine,” Gibbs said.

In addition to the six ambulances there will also be a seventh on reserve, and will also be housed at the Solana Beach station, Austin added.

“The 12-hour car is at Rancho Santa Fe Station No. 2, and that’s a dual paramedic training unit for the fire department,” Austin said.

“We move over for the day a firefighter paramedic to keep them proficient as a paramedic, they’re a first responder, obviously, but it gives them the ability to have more patient contact, more patient care and becomes a training unit for new paramedics coming into the system for the fire service.”

AMR will also be providing 17 paramedics and 17 EMTs.

New to the contract this time is the addition of a 24-hour supervisor in a fully equipped vehicle, who the ability to respond as an assessment unit, Austin said.

AMR served the CSA-17 district about 10 years ago. Austin said he doesn’t anticipate facing any challenges.

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