SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In just six weeks, you'll start to see Falck ambulances in San Diego, as they take over emergency medical services in the city.
On Thursday, the company announced they've met several staffing requirements to provide they necessary services. The company says they've hired over 390 people, including all leadership positions, 221 emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and 143 paramedics.
Falck signed its contract with the city earlier this spring, but in September, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Colin Stowell expressed concerns about the company meeting deadlines to secure staffing, supplies, and ambulances.
However, both the chief and Falck admit that a shortage of employees is not unique to San Diego.
Falck has faced some criticism over response times in other counties. Alameda County reprimanded the company in October, saying it responded to incidents on time less than 90% of the time — a violation of its contract. That came just two weeks after the City of Oakland's fire chief sent a letter calling for an investigation into response times, citing more than 450 instances where ambulances were delayed.
Falck says when they take over in San Diego, there will be more ambulances out in the city.
"By having more ambulances on the road and that's why the staffing is so critical so we'll have the vehicle's we'll have the ambulances on the road, having more ambulances on the road means they're typically going to be closer," said Troy Hagan, the company's chief commercial officer.
Falck takes over in San Diego on Nov 27. It will provide 33 new ambulances and 33 existing ones.
In early 2022, it plans on switching out the old ones for 33 more new ambulances.