by Pearl Castillo
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment related to County ambulance contracts; amended agreements with emergency ambulance transportation services; approved two Fire Department-related contracts; adopted an ordinance amending County salaries and employee classifications; and issued a proclamation.
The Board approved an amendment to County ambulance contracts that directs the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency to work with all fire agencies in the County and the State EMS Authority to develop policies and procedures that will allow a mobile stroke unit to be used as a mutual aid resource anywhere within the county. In its suggested implementation plan, DHS recommended a partnership with UCLA’s Mobile Stroke Unit program and also provided a long-term plan for a permanent mobile stroke unit program throughout the County’s hospital system.
Also, Supervisors amended and voted 3-2 to approve agreements for emergency ambulance transportation services for a 10-year period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2027. Amendments to the agreements were discussed during closed session. The Board voted to authorize the Director of Health Services to provide emergency ambulance transportation services to previously contested exclusive operating areas (EOAs) by designated providers. Supervisors also authorized the Fire Chief to provide advanced life support (ALS) billing services, the collection of 9-1-1 dispatch fees and reimbursement for supplies used on ALS transports to specific providers in previously contested EOAs. (See specifics.)
And, the Board approved a $1.02 million contract between the Fire Department and L.N. Curtis and Sons to provide face-piece fit testing services for the Department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs). The three-year contract begins on July 1, 2017. It also includes two one-year extensions and twelve month-to-month extensions, not to exceed six years. SCBAs provide personnel with protection against a wide variety of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminants by blocking out toxic fumes or gases that pose a threat to public health and the environment. This contract provides firefighters with the necessary training on how to properly fit their SCBAs in an emergency.
Supervisors also approved a contract between the Fire Department and Compressed Air Specialties, Inc. to provide maintenance and repair services for the Department’s Breathing Air Recharging Systems (BARS). Effective July 1, 2017, the initial term of the contract will be for three years with two one-year extensions and twelve month-to-month extensions, not to exceed six years. The maximum contract sum is $720,000, not to exceed $120,000 annually. Services provided by Compressed Air Specialties, Inc. will ensure a safe supply of breathing air to protect fire and emergency personnel during firefighting, confined space rescue and other incidents where respiratory hazards exist.
And, an ordinance was adopted by the Board to amend Title 6 – Salaries of the Los Angeles County Code which impacts salaries and employee classifications in various departments, including Fire. Divisions affected by the ordinance include Executive, Administrative, Operations, Special Services and Emergency Medical Services. See pages 12-15 for specifics.
Finally, the Board proclaimed June to be “Childhood Burn Prevention and Fire Safety Month” to raise awareness about the harmful effects of fire, fireworks and burns which are a leading safety concern for children. According to the American Burn Association, children under the age of 5 are 2.4 times more likely to suffer from burn injuries.