Ways to improve the average response time to medical emergencies in Moorpark will be discussed at tonight's City Council meeting, officials said.
Council members said they will consider employing paramedics at Moorpark's two fire stations as a way to improve paramedics' response time.
Staffing each fire station with three paramedics a day would cost the city $70,000 the first year and would reduce the average response time for medical emergencies to under six minutes, according to a city staff report.
The city has a contract with Pruner Health Services, which dispatches ambulances to locations in Moorpark from Olsen Road in Thousand Oaks and Tapo Street in Simi Valley. Its paramedics have an average response time of about nine minutes, city officials said.
The city will also consider working with Pruner to provide an ambulance station in a more central location. City officials estimate that the cost of operating another ambulance station would be about $270,000 a year.
Members of the Ventura County Professional Firefighters Assn. said they will attend tonight's council meeting to support staffing the fire stations with paramedics. Fire Capt. Jim Arlich, an association member, said the organization would like to see paramedics employed at every county fire station.
Paramedics can start a patient on medication and work directly with nurses and doctors at hospital emergency rooms. Firefighters can only administer basic life support, such as taking a person's blood pressure or providing oxygen, Arlich said.
Fifteen firefighters in the county are certified or nearly certified as paramedics and would be assigned to Moorpark's two stations if the council and eventually the County Board of Supervisors approve that proposal, Councilman Scott Montgomery said.
Also, the city would not need to purchase additional vehicles because fire engines would be equipped with additional paramedic equipment, Montgomery said.