Gold Cross Could Replace Dixie Ambulance if Application is Approved

Stock Photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – With Gold Cross Ambulance’s recent announcement that it is seeking state approval to expand its operations into St. George and the surrounding area, voices of concern have been raised by various readers of St. George News concerning the matter.

The primary complaint: St. George already has a 911-ambulance emergency transport service in the form of Dixie Ambulance Services.

While the idea of potential competition coming into the area may not seem like a bad idea to some, the state regulates the prices that can be charged by the ambulance service as per Utah Administrative Code R426-16-2, therefore, competition isn’t much of a factor.

It should be noted that companies like Dixie Ambulance and Gold Cross are assigned exclusive rights to specific, geographical areas for a contracted period of time. In these areas, they are the sole providers of 911 emergency transport, as well as non-emergency transport should they hold the proper license for that additional service.

Also, in accordance with Utah Administrative Code R426-14-201 and Utah Code T26-8a-402, these companies may not subcontract their services.

Should the Utah State Bureau of Emergency Medical Services approve Gold Cross’ application to become the new 911-ambulance service in St. George, Dixie Ambulance Service faces an uncertain future.

For the time being, Dixie Ambulance has declined to comment on the matter. Messages left with Gold Cross have not been returned.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2011, all rights reserved.

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82 Comments

  • Chris moreno June 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Dixie ambulance has been a wonderful help to the growth and safe nature of St George and has my full support in the denial of gold cross services, in stg.

  • Russ Neve June 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I have a friend who works Dixie ambulance and they take advantage of they employees. I am all for Gold Cross to replace them. The employees will benefit greatly.

  • elliemae June 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Hopefully Gold Cross pays more than $12.00 an hour for trained, experienced employees. I don’t care if a provider is locally owned, it’s more important that they pay their staff professional wages.

  • anonymous June 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Gold Cross pays 13.00 an hour but the employee has to pay Gold Cross 3.00 an hour for a station fee. Is what they pay their staff more important than the quality of service they provide?

  • Joe June 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    In this economy $12.00 an hour sounds good to me. Or 11.00 or 10.00 or 9.00……

  • Craig June 17, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Gold Cross Ambulance is a Utah owned Company that not only pays well, it also provides Medical Insurance, Dental Insurance, Life Insurance and a great 401K. These benefits are not currently provided to employees of Dixie Ambulance. Imiagine working for a company that takes people to the the Hospital often in the darkest hours of that persons life when you don’t have health insurance to help in your time of need. Rumors of Station Fees are just that rumors, I’m sure as nobody charges emplyees for workspace. Whatever the outcome I’m sure everybody will get the care they need in a timely matter, I would just prefer to get it from a Company who also cares for it’s emplyees.

  • Sarah June 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    So since their employees don’t have benefits then they must really suck at their jobs!!!!! Haha. Craig you sound like a moron!

  • Rachel June 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Craig sounds like he actually knows what he is talking about, Sarah. Unlike yourself. And one might refrain from calling another a moron when one punctuates their sentences like a 4th grade student. A student that was the child Bush left behind.

  • elliemae June 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    If Gold Cross, or any other company, were to get a contract here, they would surely hire local. No one said Dixie Ambulance employees suck at their jobs – the comment was that Dixie doesn’t pay benefits nor does it pay living wages. Their employees (and management) are on the defensive on this site and are personally attacking people who comment. This certainly doesn’t leave a positive impression upon the rest of us in the community.

    • martin June 18, 2011 at 3:20 am

      Elliemae I don’t know how you can make the accusation that the Dixie Ambulance employees are attacking the people who comment here. I know all their employees, and not one of them has left a comment on this page. I definitly no longer have a positive impression of you. And no, I’m not working at Dixie Ambulance if you wonder who I am. I recommend you be careful of making such accusations.

  • Heidi Windsor June 17, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Personally I dont think this is an issue on who has benefits or the better wages. Dixie has been supporting this community for years and has done a great job at it. I personally have used their service and have been very impressed. Their paramedics have true passion for their job and arent in it for the money. I dont believe attacking each other is beneficial, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I feel that Gold Cross coming in and running Dixie out of St George like they previously did in Salt Lake is just wrong. It’s not entirely about the employees, it is business. Dixie ambulance is a great business and they serve their community proudly, why take that away? Dixie ambulance holds the heart of EMS and allowing another company to come in and break them down for “business” is unethical. Gold cross has a business already– its in Salt Lake City. Go back to Salt Lake, you arent welcome here!

    -Heidi Windsor

    • elliemae June 17, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      Perhaps Dixie has been supporting the community for years, but they’ve been paid handsomely to do so. While they’ve been supporting the community, they haven’t respected their employees enough to pay well and provide benefits. And anyone who’s needed ambulance services anywhere would be impressed if they showed up alive. This conversation is crazy and obviously packed with employees of Dixie Ambulance. This is exactly why competition exists. As a resident of St. George for over 60 years, I hope that the outcome will be benefictial to the employees, whichever company services the area in the end.

      Carry on.

    • Nina June 17, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      Heidi, before making false accusations, you may want to learn the truth. Gold Cross never went into Salt Lake City and ran another company out. Gold Cross took care of the people of SLC for decades when that company actually came in and won the bid to provide service, therefore running Gold Cross out. Years later, that company left. And what did Gold Cross do the day they left? They immediately began taking 911 calls when they were under no contract to do so. From what I remember, Southwest left because the hospitals wouldn’t give them the interfacility transports, which is where the real money is at. If the hospitals don’t trust them, why should the patients? If Gold Cross came into St. George, they would probably love to hire Dixie employee’s. These are the people that know and love the area as well as the people. Either way, I hope Dixie’s medical personnel get what they want, whether it’s their current company or Gold Cross.

  • Heidi Windsor June 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Funny, I dont work for Dixie ambulance? Do you work for Gold Cross?

  • Chris June 17, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I have had the pleasure of working for Dixie Ambulance, and no they do NOT pay their employees. They offer no incentives for any future They preach loyalty, but do not offer any in return. I love the work, I love the people, but I feel that GoldCross can offer more. Better working equipment, vehicles that are actually safe to transport patients, and maybe a better work environment in general!

  • John Wayne June 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    This issue is not about employees, it is about the life saving service Dixie Ambulance provides. No employee is forced to work for Dixie Ambulance or Gold Cross for that matter. Maybe they do it because they enjoy what they do? Apparently Dixie Ambulance treats their employees well enough because they always seem to have someone respond when needed. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. I would rather have someone trying to save the life of my family member that is vested in the community than a corporation just trying to make a buck. I would rather see Ivins or Hurricane take over the service than a big corporation that doesn’t give a rip about St. George or it’s people.

  • Rachel Booth June 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I am a Paramedic. Although we are paid reasonably, I do not know any other Paramedic that does our job to get rich. We do it to help others. If you had any idea what we see, go through and feel after seeing fellow humans and their families on the worst day of their lives, you would NEVER insult our profession by implying that any of us would do a “better” job if we had been raised in the community we were working or needed to have any ties to our dispatch area whatsoever. We go where we are needed. We provide the best care of our ability to every single person we come across. Asking to be paid a fair wage, full benefits, and top of the line equipment to help these people does not mean that our heart is in it any less. You hold a lifeless baby, a beloved grandfather or a young mother in your arms as they are dying, desperately trying to save their life, and you tell me if you REALLY believe that whether our shirt says Gold Cross or Dixie that we would do ANYTHING different. And if you believe that we would, you are wrong.

  • Mike Lavender June 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I do not for one minute think that the paramedics that work for Dixie are anything less than committed to their jobs. To say so is irresponsible, and sells them short. These are people who are dedicating their lives to save yours. Be respectful.

  • Connie June 17, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Gold Cross Ambulance is not a big corporation and they have never run any one out of a city. They are a small family owned business that has served the Salt Lake Valley well for over 40 years. I find it interesting that no one is questioning Dixie Ambulance in this, maybe Gold Cross was asked to submit the application because Dixie was not following their contracts or the laws. The employees don’t stay in EMS for the money, it doesn’t pay well, or the benefits though they are deserved. Either way the people of St. George will be provided for by high quality and caring EMS personnel, most likely the exact same people. Gold Cross may not be running anyone out but may be applying to provide a service that is not being provided. There is a lot that happens with laws and rules regarding 911 service, we don’t know the details since neither company will publicly comment. I think many people hold blind loyalties and know little of the actual facts in this situation. Whatever the outcome 911 service will go on and paramedics and EMT’s will be there when you call.

  • K.C. June 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Welcome Gold Cross! As with any market competition provides a better service for those who recieve. The only reason Dixie is vested in St George is that Mr Randall has the monopoly and likes the money he makes. I know 90+% of his employees and would trust them with my life and that of my family. Knowing that they could make more mowing lawns or doing pretty much anything else really makes me feel for them. Then hearing that there are no benefits for them actually makes me sick. A little competition to make the market a little more competitive and provide a better life for these who make ours better and safer… Welcome Gold Cross!

  • Chris June 17, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I as well welcome Gold Cross, another Utah based company. You are wanting to keep this local and last I checked SLC is part of our state. Maybe this is a company that can better this community. Where Dixie Ambulance had failed. I understand this keep it local mentality of Southern Utah. But I also see where this could be a great thing for Southern Utah. Dixie Ambulance being owned by the Randalls and the Miller family, have done a fine job in the past. These companies should merge for the betterment of our community! Better employement, new trucks, and of course Dixie can still employ every family member! 🙂

  • A Davis June 18, 2011 at 6:26 am

    All these comments about pay are driving me nuts! These employees do not have to work for DAS if they do not want to. I chose to leave DAS to seek out a career with higher pay 7 Years ago. It was my choice to work for DAS for almost 4 years. So does this mean volunteer fire departments are horrible too! I volunteered for 11 yrs for WCFD! I did that for free and loved every minute of it.
    Just my 2 cents

  • Jase June 18, 2011 at 6:50 am

    It’s funny reading these comments from people who don’t know anything about Gold Cross. They can provide St George with a better quality service. It’s sad when the Dixie employees have to race to the bank on payday to ensure thier check clears. They are truly dedicated. If the people of St George knew what kind of service they have today or lack their of, they would quake in their boots. This is the truth and is not a jab at the employees, but the company itself. They are endangering the community by not having adequate staff on duty. Gold Cross has the resourses to correct this. I’m sure the Dixie employees will jump for joy if this happens. They will probably get hired w/ GCA and get an immediate raise, benefits etc. Just because you aren’t born and raised in Southern Utah doesn’t mean squat.

    • an EMT June 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      Jase I really wish you would do your research before you start speaking. Dixie Ambulance personnel do not race to the bank to make sure their “checks clear.” We staff 3 ambulances, which are placed around the community to better serve them. We are highly trained and are always finding ways to be better and to better serve our community.

  • Hardy 09 June 18, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Jase, that’s a great point. I would like to know moreyour insight. You seem like a bright individual. These arguments about pay have no merit. It’s not about that. It is however about serving the needs of the community. I can guarantee if GCA takes over they will be just as involved in the community as DAS was/is. GC is very involed in the communites they provide service too. I support GCA. Maybe some of these issues w coverage should be addressed so the people of St George can see it for what it is.

  • Jaden Cor June 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I find it interesting that people keep beating the “marker competition” stick. The state puts a price cap on how much a ambulance service can charge per run.

    From above:

    “While the idea of potential competition coming into the area may not seem like a bad idea to some, the state regulates the prices that can be charged by the ambulance service as per Utah Administrative Code R426-16-2, therefore, competition isn’t much of a factor.”

    As for the lack of comment from either Dixie or Gold Cross:

    “For the time being, Dixie Ambulance has declined to comment on the matter. Messages left with Gold Cross have not been returned.”

  • KK June 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Don’t get your underware all knotted up people!! Gold cross won’t win. Its not going to happen. There is no reason for the state to let this happen. Dixie Ambulance has done nothing to have the state come in and kick them out. Go Dixie Ambulance all the way. They are a great service to the public and they have some of the best paramedics in the Nation!!!

  • Jerry June 18, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Interesting discussion. Obviously Gold Cross employees have a lot to gain buy kicking Dixie Ambulance out of town, so it doesn’t surprise me one bit how many cool aid drinkers there are posting on here. These can’t all be community members because Gold Cross hasn’t been here this long and they aren’t providing these services yet.

    It is strange to me that another ambulance company and ambulance drivers can walk in and take away a business like that. I don’t recall reading one article about how someone called 911 for an ambulance and no one showed up. Shouldn’t this be about the service a company provides, and not about the employees? If Dixie Ambulance was so bad, wouldn’t the public know about it? Wouldn’t it be the public that is crying out for a new service? If there is an employee/employer issue, it is between them, not us or Gold Cross.

    Gold Cross can spin, spin and “PR” all they want, but for my family Dixie has done a great job. When my nephew got hurt, they were there quickly and, I believe, saved his life. The EMTs seemed very professional, and they were great with my nephew’s mother. I have nothing but praise for Dixie Ambulance. I think it would be an injustice if Gold Cross is allowed to kick this great community service and company out of town.

  • Bandit June 18, 2011 at 10:16 am

    This whole thing should revolve around one thing, quality of service. How many paramedics does Dixie have on duty ready to respond to calls? Not EMT’s, but paramedics. Anywhere from 2-4 I believe for the whole area. What happens on back to back to back calls where paramedics are needed? If Gold Cross takes over Paramedics will be on every call. No matter what it is. I would not want to be waiting 10-15+ minutes for paramedics to repond to my house. Those of us that know the difference between EMT’s and Paramedics would agree. Gold Cross has the means to increase the service level as Dixie does not. I know several Dixie employees. I’ve heard many times in the past year that Dixie is almost bankrupt. I too have heard about the paycheck issue. If it’s my gamily I don’t want a Paramedic rescue responding across the county to my house. I want them close. Gold Cross can provide that. Dixie can’t. These are issues the people in that community need to answer. The people in those communities deserve the best service possible. To me that is Gold Cross. Hands down.

    • L Musgrave June 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Just wanted to clarify that there is at least one Paramedic on EVERY ambulance.

    • martin June 18, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Hey Bandit, Im not trying to make you look stupid or anything, but most of your comments just arnt making any sense to me. First off, the way you talk about the EMT’s of Dixie Ambulance really pisses me off. I dont know what kind of medical training background you have, or if you have any for that matter. But its very, very obvious that you dont know just how good the EMT’s that work for Dixie Ambulance are. I worked their for a couple years. I do not work their now, I moved on to bigger dreams, but I have dealt with EMS agencies all accross this nation, from one coast to the other, and Even into British Columbia and Alberta. And I can honestly say that I have never had the privelage of working with a higher, more experienced and professional crew of EMT’s than the ones from the little city of St George. The EMT’s that work for Dixie each had to go through a process to prove that they had the proper skills, training, and confidence, to provide the highest level of care possible. The EMT’s that work for Dixie Ambulance are more skilled and confident than most ambulance Paramedics that I have dealt with. The Paramedics that work for Dixie Ambulance are the best that can be found. Some of them work as flight medics for other agencies as well as Dixie Ambulance. I dont believe you could go anywhere and find the level of patient care provided by the EMT’s and Paramedics of Dixie Ambulance service. Now you might think that I am just biased in my opinion, and I will admit outright that I am to some extent. They trained me, taught me, and I got my experience working their. I am not saying that their isnt good EMT’s and Paramedics elswhere, because their is. And I will also say that occassionaly bad EMT’s and Paramedics make their way into Dixie Ambulance as well. But as a general rule. The providers that work for Dixie Ambulance are the best, and the most skilled, that I have ever worked with.

      Their is already multiple comments about the Paramedics responding to the calls, so I wont comment more on that except to say that There is paramedics on every ambulance. So I dont know where you got the 10-15 minute waite times from.

      As far as the pay goes, I will tell you that it isnt the best. But I have never had a late paycheck from them, and I never had one bounce. If I ever needed anything, my bosses helped me figure it out. If it was all about money, then nobody would work for Dixie Ambulance. And the funney thing is, is Gold Cross can paint a mighty fine picture with all the benifits and increased pay, the better service they could provide, and all the other crap that goes with trying to establish a good name in a town. I bet that if Gold Cross did indeed take over, all those promises would go right out the window, and the citizens of St George, and the EMS workers would recieve nothing more than they currently have. Do you think Gold Cross would send one of their Old Ambulances down to St George to parade around if they wanted to take over? Course not! They send the best that they have down here to try to “Impress” everyone with their Glamerous new ambulance, but everyone knows that just as soon as Gold Cross obtained their objective, they would replace this fine ambulance they have down here with one of the older ones. Ita all about business. They arnt here to serve the people of St George, they are here to try to expand their business and make more money. Cause It seems that they arnt liked much up North, according to the people I have talked to that have to deal with them. They are on parade down here, just keep that in mind. And I know for a fact that I wouldnt get any bigger of a paycheck from them than I would at Dixie Ambulance. Because they arnt going to pay their employees any more than they have too. You got to wake up Bandit, they cant offer a single thing more than Dixie Ambulance does. They just blow sunshine to everyone to get their name out.

  • citymedic June 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Just wanted to clarify,Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services regulates that 2 medics must be on every Charlie or Delta call. Dixie sends only one most times

    • martin June 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Dear citymedic, I hate to inform you that you are a little outdated. Back when DAS ran the Paramedic Rescue truck, two Medics responded on it. Then they switched to having a Medic and EMT-I on each ambulance. If it is Charlie or Delta call, two units respond to provide the paramedic care. Most of the time, the call only requires one paramedic, so the other truck goes back in service after making sure the primary truck has adequate personel. The Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services does not require both medics to transport any charlie or Delta call. Such a descision would be a waste of rescources if the call didnt require the extra personel.

  • elliemae June 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Martin claimed that not one Dixie employee has left a comment on the page. But that’s been proven not to be true – and in the other article, Michele Randall herself was hypercritical of an ex-employee. I understand being protective of their business, but the comments that I’ve read certainly don’t leave a good impression of Dixie Ambulance. They’ve got a monopoly and the owners are wealthy while the employees are left with low pay and no benefits.

    To those who claim that it’s not about pay and benefits, that’s not true. Employees should be valued and should be treated with enough respect to pay a living wage and not have to take a second job to make ends meet. Just because someone would do the job as a volunteer doesn’t give the company license to take advantage of their dedication.

    Hopefully the outcome will be that whichever company is here pays their employees professional wages and benefits. That’s important – and it’s sad that some of the posters here who defend the employees of Dixie Ambulance don’t believe that these dedicated individuals deserve it.

    • martin June 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Elliemae, sorry to pop you bubble but you havnt “proved” anything. Maybe you should reread what I wrote before. I said “this” page, not “the” page. You said that Michele Randall was hypercritical in the “other” article. I didnt know there was “another article” so I dindt have the pleasure of reading it, or commenting on it. Im sorry you didnt catch that part.

    • Whitney June 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      Life is full of fake people. Before you decide to judge them, make sure you are not one of them.

  • Bandit June 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    That’s what I was getting at citymedic. If GC takes over the service automattically gets better,. Not only w/ patient care but with wages and benefits. Win, win for st george residents and Dixie employees who switch over. Looking at Dixie’s service area map on their website how can they justify a paramedic that has to respond from the Veyo area clear across to the strip in AZ, or to another area they cover? That’s irresponsible and doing a disservice to their patients. Granted I’m sure it doesn’t happen often but the chance is there. Someone wanted to know why this stuff isn’t all over the news. Well just because it”s not doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

    • martin June 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      And just what makes you think that Gold Cross will stage an ambulance up in Veyo? or out on the Arizona strip? I hate to break it to you but that will not happen. It would make no logical sense, and they arnt going to pay a crew of three and an ambulance to sit out on the strip or in veyo and wait for a call a couple times a week. They will say all kinds of good stuff to try to get a name in St George, but Im 99.9 percent sure that they would love to kick Dixie out and take over the exact same coverage area with the same amount of ambulances or maybe even less. And furthermore, even if they did get a call out their, if its anything very serious, life flight 39 will be taking it anyways. helicopters are a lot more comfortable to ride in than 10-20 miles of bumpy Arizona Strip road. And they save quite an abundance of time when it comes to remote locations such as the Arizona Strip.

  • StGeorge June 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    When did we start shutting down the free enterprise system? Are we going to limit grocery stores to just 1 per town, or laundry mat’s to just 1 per town, how about car dealerships? Only 1 per town allowed. This just makes no sense.

    The business of running an ambulance service cannot be that complicated. If Dixie is better at this and benefits the community, let them win in the market place. If Gold Cross has a better business model and the community benefits, where is the harm in that?

    In any business situation letting 1 company have a monopoly is just not a good idea.

  • KK June 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Bandit- There is a paramedic on every ambulance at Dixie Ambulance.
    St. George- Yes it would be nice to have two services in the area for competition but its not as easy as opening a car dealer or grocery store. Having a EMS system in the area is regulated by the state. Right now only one service is needed in the area and only one service will be granted the lisence to operate in the area. Dixie Ambulance has nothing to worry about. There is no way Gold Cross is going to run them out!

  • Myranda June 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Dixie Ambulance is trained to do 911 calls. So basically if Gold Cross takes over, we’re all dead. Dixie Ambulance has been your service for years, they actually saved a friends life. Why replace something that isn’t broken or wrong?

  • bandit June 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Wow Martin take a valium or something. Seems like you’re a little uptight buddy. I never bashed on Dixie’s employees. This isn’t about them it’s about the ownership. I’m sure they are fine EMT’s and Paramedics and they are stuck in the middle of a no win situation. I wouldn’t want to have to worry about my job in this economy. BTW you have no idea about Gold Cross. Your comments are making you look ignorant. If they do take over I have no idea how the operation will run. I do know the employees will be as good as the Dixie ones you stand up for. They night even be the same ones. In fact I would bet on it.

    Myranda why do say if GC takes over you’re all dead? Is Gold Cross not trained in 911? If not that’s news to me. Is this some special skill? Dixie is most definately broken. I would put my life in the hands of a “Salt Lake Valley” EMT or Paramedic anytime. It’s the big time up there. Unless i’m mistaken the State of Utah regulates the training standards. So I’m pretty sure a Dixie EMT and a Goild Cross EMT have the same standards. The difference is the GC EMT/Paramedic probably runs a 10/1 911 call ratio. For Martin that means a GC EMT runs 10 911 calls to the 1 Dixie call. Now Martin that doesn’t mean I’m bashing Dixie Employees. I’ve met a few and they seemed top notch. Like I said this isn’t about the employees. It’s about the ownsership and the situation they put the employees in.

  • Unbelievable June 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I am appalled at the owners’ wife for calling out a previous employee. Great character! Seems like things are still the same at DAS.

    • potus June 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      I first read someone say her husband worked for both places and she had seen first hand how bad dixie treats their employees and patientis .If it was my business being bashed I would do some calling out too. I didn’t know that it was the owner’s wife but didn’t she just ask why they would want to work there again if it was so bad. I probably would have said worse. If you can’t take it don’t dish it out.

  • Valerie E June 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Bandit, you keep saying ownership and the situation they put their employees in. Enlighten us. Do you know the inner working of their company? Do you have access to bank accounts? Do you know the owners personally? See Bandit, your real name I’m sure, cause you wouldn’t be cowardly and use a made up name, are you a business owner? I have lived in this community 25 years. I have personally had to use Dixie Ambulance 4 times. They were always very promt and reliable and very compassiate with me especially when my two year old was run over by a car. They even came back later to visit her and bring her balloons and a stuffed animal. Ye,s it was pricey but I once used Gold Cross ambulance in Salt Lake and their bill was a few dollars more.. I have never read or heard any rumors regarding Dixie ambulance running a subpar ambulance company. Wages and benefits are strictly between owners and employees .Not our business to discuss. In this economy many businesses are having to do away with benefits. In my office, I work for a doctor, we are seeing more and more patients with medicaid. Do you know what medicaid and medicare pay? Not well. Also many more self pay patients during this glowing economy. I can only assume that many Gold Cross employees and maybe disgruntled employees of Dixie are making the majority of these comments. Guess what? Whatever we say has no merit when it comes down to deciding who is granted this 911 license. I for one have not been shown any evidence to make me think that Dixie should be shown the door and put out the welcome mat for Gold Cross.

  • Judson Tolman June 19, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I believe many of the comments on here are unfounded. Also I there are some good points. Many could certainly use a little more maturity. Here is my two cents.

    If Gold Cross were to win the contract I am confident that they would provide the same quality service to the patients that Dixie currently does. After all is that what it really should be about, the patients? I don’t see however how they are going to save more lives, respond faster with better medics or provide better patient care! We are all trained to the same standard. We have VERY good, experienced paramedics and EMT’s at Dixie . We all care about our patients and love EMS or we would not be in the business.

    Dixie wages should be between Dixie and their employees! Would we all like to make more money? Sure! Would some of us do it for free? Hell yes! I can tell you I have never seen anyone get his or her arm twisted to work there. In fact its just the opposite. Plenty of people who don’t currently work there would love to have a position. Not for the pay but for the experience. This talk about rushing to cash our checks so they don’t bounce, REALLY? That is the most B.S. i’ve heard yet.

    One can’t blame DAS for being on the defensive. They are in a position to possibly lose their business to another company. It is a unique situation, unlike the Walmart Target analogy. DAS owns a business that is subject to a state contract. If GC wins the bid that means a state agency essentially GAVE away DAS business with no monitary compensation to the current owners. If you were them you would be very defensive as well. Like others have said if GC wins Dixie is out, if Dixie prevails GC is still in business. Scary situation for DAS.

    Although I have been in it a short time I love EMS. I can tell you the people of DAS love EMS. I am sure the people of GC also love EMS. Thats why we do it! If its not broke why fix it. If GC came in I am sure that they would provide the same services with the same quality people that Dixie currently does. So why should the state give away DAS to GC?

    If GC gets the contract for St George whats next down the road? No more Hurricane Fire or Ivins Fire? Where does it stop? GC although I am sure you are a quality company we already have a quality company, providing quality patient care in St George.

    Go Dixie!

    Judson Tolman

  • Judson Tolman June 19, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I should clarify. Obviously GC won’t take over Ivins Fire or Hurricane Fire. However they could and probably eventually would submit an application to provide 911 medical service to those areas. Taking away those cities ability to run thier own ambulance service.

  • BigBill June 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    We used the services of Dixie Ambulance about 4 years ago. A ride for Dixie Downs to the Hospital cost us $1200. Most expensive taxi ride ever. We talked to their billing dept. and told them we did not have insurance and tried to get some of the bill reduced or a low monthly payment plan. No dice. Fought with them for months and months. My wife’s Grandpa was in a car wreck. They transported him from the Virgin River Gorge to the Hospital, were he died. 10 months later they were calling my wife’s grandma asking that he(Grandpa, who is dead) pay the bill. Grandma starts crying because she is still grieving. I talk to them on the phone and tell these idiots ,”The man you transported died, The bill is obviously in his name , and we will come pay it,” . No apology. No tact or heart with these people at all. We reported them to the BBB. The guys in the Ambulance are professional, but the people running the office are ridiculous. After the experiences I have had I “WELCOME” a little competition. PLEASE COME TO ST. GEORGE GOLD CROSS!

  • James T. June 19, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Even EMS in Cedar City pays better than Dixie Ambulance. Quality people leave DAS because the owners don’t share the wealth. Everyone with skills goes to Cedar or Vegas. People who do EMS as a hobby stay with DAS. The city should have ran EMS through the FD years ago.

    • Chad June 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      I totally agree with James T. All EMS should be taken care of by the local fire department.

  • Mark June 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    James T, I pay the wages for those in Cedar City. It’s called TAX dollars! Pretty sure it’s the same in Vegas.

    • James T. June 20, 2011 at 1:38 am

      Yeah and who do you want comming to save your family? Somone who does EMS as a hobby making 7 to 12 dollars and hour with no benefits. Or someone making 18+ an hour with insurance and retirement who does the job full time?

  • Mark June 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Big Bill, didn’t you read the above article before posting? It says the rates are state regulated so don’t you think you would get a bill from Gold Cross for the same amount? Sorry about your grandpa.

    • Chad June 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      I’m not 100 percent sure but I believe they can charge anywhere between 80-100% of what the state regulates. DAS charges the full 100%. A close relative refused care by DAS and was charge 200.00. She was in a minor car accident and never called 911. She refused to pay that much for a signature, DAS was relentless on getting their money.

  • Jaden Cor June 20, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Say that Gold Cross is approved for the area. If St. George wanted to try for a different ambulance provider in four years, would Gold Cross do the same to St. George as they attempted to with SLC a few year back? http://www.deseretnews.com/article/635183362/Gold-Cross-suing-SL-over-ambulance-pact.html

  • Ben L June 20, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I have not been transported by an ambulance but both of my grandparents were. They were treated professionally and with respect by Dixie Ambulance staff.
    The EMTs were good to them, treated their medical needs and were respectful to my parents also.
    I am not sure why everyone out there has so much to say about what it costs, or what they pay? I called Gold Cross and they charge the same fees as Dixie. By the way, if I was hurt or ready to die, I would probably be willing to pay anything if it was gonna save my life. Yeah, taxi rides are cheaper, I just haven’t seen any taxi’s with trained medical staff. I know if I call 911 the medics at Dixie are coming to help me not talk about how much money they make or dont make. If another ambulance company comes from up north , I hope they can do as good of a job as I have already seen demonstrated by LOCAL DIXIE AMBULANCE. By the comments I have read so far about what someone makes determining the level of care provided , I guess the people that have volunteer EMT departments are screwed and if you make more money your skills are better and you have a more compassionate heart??

  • Erika June 20, 2011 at 11:02 am

    The only reason people work for DAS is to get a foot in the door or as a hobby. They are just starting out and trying to get experience. There is high turnover for this reason. That being said, I do not want some gaining experience on me or my family, instead I want someone with experience treating me or my loved ones. when you are having the big one do want some gaining experience with you? Or would you rather someone with experience treating you? Ask yourself that everyday till you make that final decision. Lastly…you get what you pay for.

  • Sandy G June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Erika, It is arrogant of you to presume Paramedics at Dixie ambulance don’t care or their license is less valid than another company. Ambulance fees in UTAH are state regulated. That means everyone charges the same if you weren’t sure. Whatever youd pay one ambulance you’d pay another. As far as the pay for the medical people, I want one that wants to save lives, not one who does it for a pay check. Saving lives means something and it is a calling people get. If a surgeon does a procedure pro bono . that means ( no charge) they are still trying to better a life. It just means more because they are doing it for the right reason

    • Erika June 20, 2011 at 9:17 pm

      The right reason? Money and insurance is not the right reason to have a job? Great, some folks at DAS have a hobby that pay thems a few dollars. The people who want to advance their career and save lives for a living leave. Qualified, motivated, and skilled workers will not be able to stay at DAS. The same is for the FD and police services. Many many firemen and cops who also love their job left or commute from St.George to AZ and Vegas and make 2 to 3 times what Utah cops and firemen make. 1st year medics, cops, and firemen in AZ and Vegas make more than seasoned supervisors in St. George agencies. Several AZ and NV cops, firemen, and medics loved doing the same job in Utah but wanted to be able to retire and support their families. Who ever gets the contract should offer the best to retain and hire the best. From what I know about DAS and have learned about GC, GC supports their people better. I have never heard of medics leaving a town like St.George to go to Cedar City to make more money and have benefits! What a shame!

      • Mark June 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        Bigger cities have more tax dollars coming into their coffers. Their wages are paid by the taxpayer (me)! I also think you are being very insulting by suggesting that paramedics, firefighters, and police officers must be incompetant if they work in St. George. Have you ever considered they are willing to work for less pay and maybe take on a second job to be able to raise a family in an area they love?

        • Erika June 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm

          Plenty of Firemen / Cops /EMS live in St. George but work in AZ and NV. Did you not read my post Mark? Sorry to say but I thnk they have something going for them or else they would not be making 2x as much as the people who work in Utah. They get to live in an area they love but also support their family without 4 jobs.

      • Sandy G June 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

        Erika..People leave Southern Utah for better paying jobs in all professions. Many commute to Las Vegas,some to Salt Lake and all over really. I agree with you on 1 thing , it is a shame. Are you trying to blame Dixie Ambulance for the economy in Southern Utah??
        Remember the issue!!! Does Dixie ambulance provide care and meet the needs of of the community ? Yes, anything else is not really your concern. Also, you keep saying , ” from what I know” what do you know ?? Sounds like gossip to me. You cant even keep your thoughts on the issue at hand because you are too busy being silly talking about things that have nothing to do with the question at hand. You sound like you dont really know much of anything.

        • Paramin June 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

          Public Safety is the concern of anybody who may ever use it or be affected by it. This is why it is so important. Dixie may meet the current needs of St George but any responsible City will always be open to the possibility that things can be done better. I’m sure any City leader would want to see improvements made to any program. If Gold Cross is willing to do Ambulance Service that can be shown to be better, faster and/or cheaper and in addition to that possibly increase payroll while adding health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Life Insurance and a 401k planto all employees, then it would be irresponsible of anybody to stop this. If Gold Cross can not prove this then they will not be issued a license and nobody has anything to worry about.

        • Erika June 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

          I don’ care what EMS service DAS or GC serves St. George. I want the one that can hire and retain the best workers to save people. So far that looks like GC. Maybe this will be a wakeup call for DAS.

  • Jaden Cor June 20, 2011 at 11:36 am

    You are one of many people who have made the claim that DAS staff are ill-experienced and hobbiests in the field emergency transport . Do you have firsthand knowledge of this you are will to share? Or is this a parroting of what has come before?

  • bandit June 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Anyone who thinks EMT’s or Paramedics, whether at Dixie or Gold Cross do it for the paycheck is up in the night. Most of these people work at least one other job. Same w the FD. As for the comment of being treated at a 911 call by a “transport” medic, DAS does transports. Interfacilty transports. So does that mean their skills aren’t very good? I’m confused on that point. “transport” paramedics have the same training and experience as any other medic. FD or otherwise.

  • paramin June 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I am a Paramedic who works for Gold Cross Ambulance, I started with the company in 1998 as an EMT and was then sent to Paramedic School by Gold Cross who paid for my schooling and my wages while I was gone for nearly 7 months. I can attest that every Medic that works for Gold Cross can handle any emergency that is handed them. I am paid a good wage with great benefits and enjoy the open door policy to talk at any time with anybody in management. The owner of Gold Cross, Gene Moffitt is an honest man who pioneered EMS in the State of Utah. My dispatch center is one of only a few accredited dispatch centers in Utah, and Gold Cross is the ONLY accredited ambulance service in Utah. It bothers me to see comments left by such people as Mr Leavitt (a former Gold Cross employee) who I have had much respect for, claim that we were kicked out of city’s. This is just not the case. Fire Departments have regulated themselves nearly out of jobs as there are very few fires anymore. In Salt Lake County we have over 60 fire stations that are staffed 24/7 365 days a year. The truth is they saw the chance to keep busy as they have few fires per station per year and they thought they could make money on ambulance service. The truth is ambulance service must remain in the private sector as that is the only way to keep the burden off tax payers who will certainly subsidize it. The employees of Gold Cross Ambulance and Dixie Ambulance are some of the best Medics in Utah. All we want is to be medics, we have no interest in the fire service and spend most of our free time preparing to be the best medics we can be. To the residents of St George- you would see no transiction between services. You will see the same medics plus a few new faces but they now will have health insurance, dental insurance and probably for most a pay raise. Gold Cross does not transfer employees as every city has plenty of qualified men and mowen. Remember that ambulance service is regulated and the state even dictates how much you can charge for a band-aid. I know from my time at Gold Cross that response times are of the highest concern and staffing is dictacted to ensure the fastest delievery of the most professional appropriate care possible regardless of a persons race, sex, religious background or ability to pay. I will continue to work proudly for Gold Cross Ambulance and invite anybody with any concerns to ask an employee of Gold Cross when you see them in St George how they like the company they work for. St George can only stand to benefit from the change to Gold Cross Ambulance and I hope to welcome all of Dixie Ambulance current employees to join our team.

  • Jordan H. June 20, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    So even afer reading all of these comments I am still confused? What is the justification for replacing Dixie Ambulance with Gold Cross Ambulance? Has Dixie Ambulance been proven negligent? Are they not providing quality care to the public they serve? Have there been numerous complaints brought against Dixie Ambulance? I subscibe to the local paper and I don’t recall ever reading any article opposing or accusing the current ambualnce company of negligence. So you close the door on a small private company and replace it with a larger company that will provide the same product (in this case emergency care) at the same price and you do this because the larger company will provide a higher wage and the employee will be entitled to benefits? It just doesn’t make sense to me. This seems like a win, win for Gold Cross Ambulance. You get to take over an existing business without ever having to purchase it? Where can I get a deal like that? This doessn’t pass the smell test to me. Again I ask, has the current ambulnce company been proven negligent?

  • elliemae June 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    They don’t have to be proven negligent. This is business – and it’s been proven time & again that a st. george good ole boy’s company doesn’t have to be the only choice. Either company can provide excellent service. I, for one, would welcome any company that pays a living wage & benefits. If Dixie is concerned about their employees, perhaps they’ll start doing that.

    They’ve had years to do so. They make money off of every call, the same as does Gold Cross. I believe that a company that values its employees does everything possible to provide for them and treat them like family. I’m willing to bet that the owners of Dixie Ambulance don’t struggle paying their bills, and have health insurance and retirement. Don’t their employees deserve the same?

    I do care about the members of my community.

  • Gidget June 22, 2011 at 2:43 am

    I am very familar with both agencies. I must say I have been very disappointed with Dixie Ambulance the past several years. I have been very impressed with Gold Cross over the years. (I work with them in the Salt Lake and Provo area). I would have to support Gold Cross at this time. Who says Dixie Ambulance has to go out of business? They could divide the teritory. Put Gold Cross in Washington and I-15 North and let Dixie stay in St. George and I-15 South. Dixie would still have the biggest call volume, but it would be a foot in the door for Gold Cross, let the community see how they like them. The could back each other up.

    DAS has some very good paramedics and EMT’s, however they also have some very inadequate paramedics. In every employment you will have good and bad, however with DAS when it is brought to their attention nothing is done. These inadequate (to say it as nice as possible) paramedics continue to work for them. They also rehire paramedics that they once fired because they can’t fill the shifts. They recently rehired a paramedic that was recently arrested for DUI…..really?????? I have brought situations to the attention of GC and immediate action was taken.

    There has been mention that DAS stages ambulances thru out the city, this is true during the day, however they are staffed with one paramedic, so when a high acuity call goes out, 2 ambulances have to respond leaving the opposite area of town uncovered. (The state requires that 2 paramedics respond). At night ( after 7pm) they go down to 2 ambulances on duty (stationed at the bunkhouse, not thru-out town) and often has more calls than they can cover. A page goes out to whomever is monitoring the radio in hopes someone will respond from home, who then has to get out of bed drive to the station then respond. So after 7 pm if you live in Washington expect to wait 20 minutes to see an ambulance.

    When DAS is called for long distance emergent transports, it can take hours for them to get a crew together, or sometimes not at all. GC has a crew available all the time, and available in minutes.

    GC had made their services available to the city and public events free of charge, DAS charges a stand-by fee.

    The wages are also an issue. DAS starts their EMT’s out at about $7 / hr GC starts theirs at $12. I have a friend that worked for DAS for 12 years, he started at $5.15/hr and was making $7.50 when he quit. At the time he quit GC was starting EMT’s at $12/hr. GC also offers insurance and other benefits.

    I hear enough moaning and groaning from DAS employees I am sure that if GC was allowed the opportunity to respond to 911 calls several of DAS employees would jump at the chance to work for GC and get paid adequately for their skills to do the job they love.

    I am sorry, but I truely believe that the bottom $$$$$ line is what is most important to DAS

    • Name June 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      These are pretty inflammatory remarks and should be removed.

  • Sharon June 22, 2011 at 3:13 am

    I say competion is healthy. I am concerned about the quality of some of the paramedics that work for Dixie Ambulance. Recently a family member that was in respiratory distress was taken to the ER. When they arrived the nurse said to the paramedic, “Have you given this COPD patient an albuterol breathing treatment?” The paramedic said, “He doesn’t have COPD he has emphysema.” The nurse then said to the secretary, “Will you please call respiratory to come give this COPD patient a breathing treatment.” Who doesn’t know that emphysema IS COPD? You can watch TV comercials to figure that out!

    • Erika June 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      So much good old boy / small town thinking on this topic. Why bring in a higher paying service when we got our good old Dixie Ambulance? hy have bring a better paying company in to out town? Why those medics and DAS don’t need to provide a living for their families. They love their job so much they would do for free. It takes a few generations to get the small town thinking out of the system.

  • melissa brown June 22, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Competion is good.. I have known the Randalls since I was a teenager and have the values.. i just see the t ypical st george people gossiping and starting rumors that may niot be true.. And who knows how well the emts will be if gold cross wold be they have to have the same creditionals as dixie… People stop hatin on dixie and the randalls and spreading stuff that know doesnt have any knowledge of

    • Jonsey June 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      Comment Removed

      • Katie June 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

        Comment Removed

        • Jonsey June 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm

          Comment Removed

          • Jason June 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm

            I am getting extremely angry by reading these comments. People are acting like high-school kids. Do not bring personal attacks on weight or looks. It makes you look ignorant. That has nothing to do with this article. If you have something to write, write about the business aspects. Also when you say this is a “fact” make sure 100% that it is one first!! This whole thing has to do with patient care, and who has the best care. Dixie Ambulance Service does have great care. I have nothing to say about Gold Cross’s care, because I personally have not used their services. But, I do think it is unethical to have Dixie Ambulance kicked out of St. George, UT for “wages”. Because that seems to be the only point that people bring up. It seems to me, from what I have read, Gold Cross is proposing the same services that Dixie Ambulance already gives St. George. This honestly has nothing to do with wages for the employee’s. If they are okay with what they make, we should all be okay with that too. They know coming into the job, what they will make. All I care about is when I call 911 a dedicated, well trained EMT/Paramedic shows up to my house and will to do everything possible for my family, friends, neighbors, etc.. I think this bashing between Gold Cross and Dixie Ambulance should stop. No one really knows what goes on at both agencies, only what they hear through the grapevine. This is how rumors get started.

    • Jen Watkins June 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      I have removed a few comments from this thread. Those who resort to personal attacks and/or swearing will be blocked from commenting. Come on now, I don’t need to be a babysitter here. Keep it appropriate.

Comments are closed.