Williams to join effort to study ambulance services

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The Williams City Council is the first city to officially offer to help fund a long-term ambulance study that could lead to countywide ambulance service.

The City Council last week tentatively agreed to contribute $15,500 on a long-term study that will look into the viability of whether a government run ambulance program is the answer to the growing uncertainty that an ambulance will not be available when you call 9-1-1.

Colusa County has already reached out to AP Triton, who will first do a quick revenue analysis for the county.

In the first study, AP Triton will perform a revenue analysis of the current ambulance system in the area, which largely serves Medi-Cal and Medicare patients and has low-to-moderate call volume.

The cost of the first study is $7,500, officials said.

“Once that study is completed, AP Triton will develop a long-term operational needs and funding strategy,” said Williams City Manager Frank Kennedy. “The cost of the long-term study is $62,000.”

While the county has not yet entered a contract for the long-term study, the Board of Supervisors has proposed splitting the cost four ways between Colusa County, Williams, Colusa, and fire protection districts, if they do.

During the second study, AP Triton will conduct further analysis and hold stakeholder meetings to develop a deployment model that meets the emergency needs of the entire county, officials said.

Once a deployment model is selected, AP Triton will determine what revenue shortfall will have to be met in order to provide a countywide ambulance service, which will allow the county to identify funding sources, which may likely include asking voters to approve a special district or countywide sales tax measure.

Currently, Enloe Medical Center provides one Advanced Life Support ambulance 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

The ambulance is stationed in Colusa, making officials on the west side of the county nervous that their citizens and I-5 travelers will be left with long wait times for transportation to the hospital in the event of an emergency.

The first study is expected to be completed mid December, officials said. The long-term study could be completed in six to nine months, once contracted by the county.

Once the service model is developed, the Colusa County Board of Supervisors would have to decide how to cover the shortfall, if any, which could include asking voters to approve a special district tax or countywide sales tax increase.

Williams’ $15,500 contribution to the long-term study will come out of the 2020-21 budget, Kennedy said. ■

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net