MONTEREY PARK — The City Council has voted to cancel its contract with a private company for paramedic ambulance service, effective at the end of June next year, and establish a paramedic service in the Fire Department.
Fire Chief James O. Page said the city will offer equal or better service at lower cost. He said Medevac Inc., the private ambulance company that now provides paramedic service to the city, charges the average patient more than $400 and receives a city subsidy of $94,000 a year.
He said the city could raise enough revenue to operate the service itself by billing patients at a flat fee of $175 and offering a prepaid ambulance program. He said the prepaid plan would offer families unlimited ambulance service for emergencies for $30 a year or $2.50 per month, payable with water bills.
Page said the city will train six firemen as paramedics and hire three additional firemen who are already qualified as paramedics. The city will seek bids from private ambulance services.