Ok, now that we have the stray dogs under control...

....we need to do something about those ambulances. We especially need a "means for the city to collect monetary penalties when the ambulance service fails" to do what the City tells them to do."

How in the world did we ever manage to have ambulances without City control and a $425.00/hr. consultant?

Update: Here is their original review report. I like this language: "In spite of the tension within the EMS system, the overall delivery of prehospital services and patient care in the City of Great Falls is good. 9-1-1 access is in place, response is timely, ALS level care is the standard, clinical care appears appropriate, equipment is contemporary and in good repair, transport times are short and tertiary level care is available within the community. Operationally the program is sound."

Is this a solution in search of a problem?


Anonymous said...

We never knew how bad it was but now "...due to the superb cooperation of the stakeholders and the work done by Abaris Group," we do.

(Mighty Mouse overture playing in the background)

WolfPack said...

"Additionally there is no means to compel an ambulance service to
abide by predetermined EMS standards."

I don't know whether a consultants services are need or not, but I am surprised that the city has no power over EMS providers to ensure quality. As with many codes and standards for our city, couldn't we just copy codes from another city who seems to be doing things right. I doubt they would mind. The copied plan would be a free and rode tested.

Anonymous said...

Why does the city feel it must have power to compel others?

Who issues and revokes business and EMT licenses?

GeeGuy said...

I don't know the whole situation here, but I have not heard some public outcry about poor ambulance service, have you?

Doesn't the City seem to have enough on its plate right now? Maybe the timing isn't so great.

This might well be a good strategic move, but it's hard to know what is driving it. And it looks as though we're going to end up with a single ambulance company, and the lack of competition never seems to benefit the consumer. No offense to the m any hard working city employees, including the City Manager, but it is not as though our local government has the Midas touch.

Anonymous said...

ROFLOL ~ Is this a solution in search of a problem?

or an attempt to justify a pay raise, higher taxes or increased job security?

Anonymous said...

The fire department applied for a transport ambulance license from the state. They application was denied. The City cannot legally tranport patients.

This is another attempted money grab without considering the consequences. Great Falls EMS writes off thousands in uncollectable bils every year.

Anonymous said...

I think Geeguy or someone mentioned that most contracts are written with some type of enforcement clause.

...So could some legal eagle take a moment to further educate me on what is is in enforcement.

GeeGuy said...

I'm not sure what you're asking, anonymous, re: enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes an attorney will refer to something in a contract as "standard" language and so am wondering

Is there a generic format or wording used in an "enforcement clause"?

How are "enforcement clauses" structured, where do they normally fall in the layout of a contract?

Is including an "enforcement clause" standard practice, or should there be one in every contract?

GeeGuy said...

I hate the use of the word "standard" with respect to contract language. Contracts are matters of agreement, so there's really no "standard." (Obviously some form contracts are non-negotiable but that is what is called a "contract of adhesion," not a standard contract. Further, there are some contractual provisions required by law, so you might call them "standard" but I don't.)

By an "enforcement clause" I assume you mean a provision for default. (An "enforcement clause" really has no meaning, because as a general rule a party to the contract is entitled to enforce its terms. That's what a contract is: an enforceable agreement, or one enforceable promised traded for another.)

A default provision is a provision that describes what is a default, or breach, of the agreement. It often will describe what remedies are available to the non-breaching party.

A default provision is not strictly necessary, because if a party breaches a contract the law provides legal remedies (generally expectancy damages, but that is for another day).

I have not seen the HSCC contract, so I don't know if it has a default provision or what such a provision might say.

It is not unusual for a default provision to provide that the non-breaching party must give the other party notice of the breach and an opportunity to cure the breach. Failing cure of the breach, such a provision might also contain some remedies for the non-breaching party, such as the right to terminate the agreement, the right to seek specific performance, or most anything else the parties can dream up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the legal explanation.

Anonymous said...

Assuming the fire department takes over the ambulance service am I going to pay taxes to subsidize ambulance service in Cascade, Sand Coulee, Stockett, Simms, Sun Prarie, Black Eagle, Monarch............

Anonymous said...

Yes, and evidently people like wolfpack seem to think your tax dollars should allow the Mayor and Commissioners to compel people to obey.

Anonymous said...

"Who issues and revokes business and EMT licenses?"

I beleive EMT and EMT-Paramedic licenses are issued by the State Board of Medical Examiners?

The State license to operate an ambulance service is issued and regulated by the EMS Bureau in the State Department of Public Health and Humna Services.

Anonymous said...

When did blending communal ownership at the control of elected officials become a Great Falls value?

When has a city commissioner been forced to give up his or her business for the good of the people?

When City Officials deny taxpayers a free market then kill opportunities for business innovation, the elected official with the most power will ultimately control the economy through regulation and taxation and even character assassination.

Treasure State Jew said...

"no means to compel"????

Geeguy, can you please provide a lesson on the effect of a "Statement of Work" attached to a service or requirements contract?

Treasure State Jew said...

You know, this contract does not sound like such a bad idea.

The brouhaha over animal control has proved that the city does not have the experience, temperament or ability to monitor its service contracts. As I have expressed elsewhere, it is proper to monitor service contracts with quantifiable metrics.

More than proper, I submit to you that it is necessary. Otherwise, you are inviting the type of subjective and questionable innuendo that has been raised against the Humane Society in recent weeks.

As for timing, if a current contract is set to expire it is exactly the right time to begin writing the follow-on document. Reading the proposed contract with Abaris, it looks like the city will get a SOW with quantifiable, measurable metrics.

Now, I am a bit surprised that we need to spend $30k for just the writing of the EMT contract. However, if we get some adult supervision of at least part of our city contracting procedures it will be money well spent.

As for whether or not the fire department ends up being the MEO; that may well be a horse of a different color.

Anonymous said...

This all stems from friction between the City and the local EMS provider. Relations have improved recently and the ambulance service has a new manager.

The City cannot hope to operate an ambulance service without losing a lot of money on an ongoing yearly basis.