By Susan Motander
For a variety of reasons, during the past few months Fire Chief Brad Dover and City Manager Oliver Chi have been concerned with the operations at Schaefer Ambulance. Then last Friday, the city received word that the ambulance company is going out of business. Of note, the information about their pending closure did not come from the company, but rather from contacts that Monrovia staff has cultivated through the years.
Based on the contents of the letter, it appears that the company will be closing effective April 15, 2019. In addition, based on discussions with our field contacts at Schaefer, the employees appear to have been told that the Monrovia operation will be closing at the end of February 2019.
According to Fire Chief Dover, the transition is already underway and is running perfectly smoothly after a test with Verdugo communications.
Care Ambulance, which is under contract with LA County to provide ambulance services for several communities surrounding Monrovia, will be able to step in on an interim basis and assume transportation services for Monrovia.
In addition, given this overall situation, the city shares some general details with everyone regarding how ambulance services are regulated. The overall framework for managing ambulance transportation is established by both the State and each county. Based on State regulations, some local cities (like Arcadia) have the right to perform ambulance services in-house. For all other areas that do not have that legal right, Los Angeles County has established nine Exclusive Operating Areas (EOAs) throughout the county, and once per decade, the county will coordinate a bid process to allow private firms the chance to compete for providing ambulance services in those areas. Of note, Monrovia has been carved out as its own ambulance service area (EOA 2).