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HUNTINGTON BEACH | Community News Focus

Update / Follow-up on the news

Ambulance Proposal Is Sent to Newport

August 03, 1996|BILL BILLITER and DEBRA CANO and LORI HAYCOX

When Newport Beach officials said they might be in the market for emergency ambulance service in situations that do not require paramedics, Huntington Beach began drawing up a proposal.

The City Council recently signed off on submitting the plan, with Mayor Dave Sullivan casting the only opposing vote.

Sullivan said he is against the idea because the program as proposed would use contract workers. If they should decide someday to form a union, he said, they might become Huntington Beach employees.

If that should happen, Sullivan said, the costs "would be a terrible liability" for the city.

Huntington Beach's own ambulance program already uses contract employees.

But Fire Chief Michael P. Dolder said the benefits for Huntington Beach would be many, among them a new source of revenue and backup ambulance units for the city's residents.

Newport Beach officials said they are seeking proposals from both public and private agencies for routine ambulance services. The city's fire and marine departments would continue to provide emergency transportation for patients needing paramedic services.

If Newport Beach awards the contract to Huntington Beach, the latter city's council would have to approve the final agreement.

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