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Public records: Ambulance provider Falck still falling short of contract requirements

SDFD still requesting more information from Falck.
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Posted at 7:25 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 12:18:57-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — New public records show San Diego’s ambulance provider Falck still needs to provide more information to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to prove it is complying with its contract.

The City Council approved Falck to replace long-time ambulance provider AMR. Falck officially took over in November.

During a public safety meeting in March, it was revealed the company did not meet numerous staffing and service requirements.

“This is deeply disappointing and quite frankly angering,” said Councilmember Raul Campillo during the March 9 meeting.

During the March meeting, Deputy Fire Chief of EMS Jodie Pierce said “it has been a challenge.”

RELATED: Former Falck employees share concerns about city's new ambulance provider

Falck was failing to meet its contractual requirements, according to a letter from San Diego Fire-Rescue dated March 7. Falck had to respond within 10 days of the letter to address its deficiencies and how it will cure them.

In response, Falck wrote that its “unit hours are currently higher than previously seen in San Diego and improving each month since Falck started services.” Managing director Jeff Behm said that the company continued to trend in a positive direction.

In a separate request for information, San Diego Fire-Rescue still had a long list of items it needed from Falck. It included information on inventory and answers as to why reports are “showing employees with missing and expired certifications.”

There was also confusion over who in Falck management was responsible for certain reports. The nine-page letter also requested information on how the company is addressing employee burnout and exhaustion.

“We are watching them,” said Councilmember Marni Von Wilpert.

Von Wilpert expressed reservations during the original hearing on Falck’s contract. She said Tuesday afternoon she was disappointed about ambulances shut down in her district when the company promised that would not happen.

“I'm really hoping that in the next few months, we'll be able to really get the services that we need from them, including meeting their response times, including making sure that they have enough advanced life support and basic life support ambulances on the road to meet their coverage hours they promised us,” Von Wilpert said.

Councilmember Raul Campillo told Team 10 that “Falck needs to live up to their promises and be a better partner to SDFD and meet all contractual obligations, including emergency response times.”

A spokesperson for Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, who chairs the Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods, said she is not commenting.

Falck has a deadline of April 15 to respond to SDFD’s latest request for information. Team 10 asked Falck for an updated statement, but a spokesperson said they will touch base closer to the upcoming deadline.