NewsTeam 10 Investigates


New quarter, familiar shortfalls: Ambulance provider Falck still not meeting required unit hours

Data for July, August and September show multiple failures in response times.
Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 20:10:42-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The latest data released by the city of San Diego shows ambulance provider, Falck, is still falling short in unit hours.

For the third quarter of the year—which includes the months of July, August and September—the company only met the required 1,008 hours a total of 10 times.

Falck is also contracted to reach certain hours specifically for Advanced Life Support (ALS). Those are ambulances staffed with at least one paramedic. Data that will be presented during Wednesday’s Public Safety and Liveable Neighborhoods meeting shows the company is also failing to reach that requirement of 900 median hours.

Early 2021, former top management of Falck told the San Diego City Council that there would be no issues meeting the requirements.

In February 2021, then-Falck CEO Matt Gallagher said one of Falck’s priorities is “to make sure [they] have the staffing level day one to meet the unit hours that [they] promised.”

That has not happened.

A spokesperson for Falck told Team 10 Tuesday afternoon:

The entire healthcare system is facing a national staffing shortage coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Falck is attacking this problem head-on by working with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department on several innovative initiatives focused on putting more paramedics and EMTs in the field. While virtually every city across the nation is facing staffing challenges, the City of San Diego today has more ambulances on the streets than ever before.

Team 10 also requested response times and penalties for the third quarter, but they were not released.