Ambulance war: Contest for territory raises solvency, staffing issues at hearing

ST. GEORGE – Matters involving company solvency and adequate staffing were addressed and revisited during the second day of hearings between Dixie Ambulance and Gold Cross Ambulance Tuesday.

Solvency

Lawyers interviewed Dixie Ambulance president Tony Randall and others for several hours in a public hearing held at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. Alan Sullivan, lead attorney for Gold Cross, began questioning Randall concerning the financial solvency of his company. Sullivan had Randall identify himself as the president of Dixie Ambulance, and also as one of the principals of Rand Properties.

Rand Properties is the entity which owns the ambulances and facilities used by Dixie Ambulance, while employees of the company are hired and work under the Dixie Ambulance banner.

Sullivan said the biggest asset of Dixie Ambulance is its “accounts receivable,” and asked Randall if he agreed. In contrast, Randall said the company’s biggest assets are the emergency medical service licenses it holds.

Balance sheets for 2010 and 2011 for Dixie Ambulance were then produced and Sullivan pointed out alleged liabilities that exceeded company assets for both years. Sullivan also said Rand Properties, which holds assets estimated at over $900,000, had liabilities equaling around $1,500,000.

Randall, however, said he does not believe the company is insolvent.

Later, Adam Dunn, attorney for Dixie Ambulance, recalled Randall saying the company’s primary assets are its medical transport licenses, and asked if that was still true. “You bet,” Randall said.

Dunn said if the licenses weren’t valuable, Gold Cross wouldn’t spend so much money on lawyers to try and obtain them through litigation.

“(Gold Cross wouldn’t) if they think we’re insolvent – why would they?” Randall said.

Staffing

Mike Moffitt, the president of Gold Cross Ambulance, said his company would have four ambulances staffed with two paramedics each that would be on standby 24 hours a day if his company’s application is granted. Since November 2010, Dixie Ambulance has had three ambulances on duty during the day, staffed by one paramedic and one intermediate EMT.

Utah code requires two paramedics be on scene of an emergency. Gold Cross attorneys said Dixie Ambulance is not in compliance with the state code because only one paramedic is assigned to an ambulance. However, Randall said Paul Patrick, director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness, had told Dixie Ambulance and other EMS services that two paramedics simply had to be at the scene, and “not in the truck.”

“It doesn’t matter how they get there,” Randall said. He added Dixie Ambulance had applied for a paramedic-EMT waiver in 2003. Randall said that rules governing the staffing of paramedics on ambulances had changed since that time, and according to his understanding, a single EMT and paramedic per vehicle was acceptable by the state.

Patrick, who is currently attending the hearing, said there were exceptions to the two paramedic rule, and that a “scene” could stretch from the original site of the accident to the doors of a hospital, depending on the situation. However, certain criteria have to be met to allow the exemption.

Randall said only a third of the calls Dixie Ambulance receives in a 24-hour period require an extra paramedic. In the St. George area, he said the company receives an estimated 13.9 calls, with only 8.7 actually requiring a medical transport. Less than three calls made to Dixie Ambulance require the presence of a second paramedic.

However, when a second paramedic is needed, Randall said a second ambulance can either meet the first paramedic at the scene, or at the hospital. A second paramedic is called in between two and three times a month at the most, he said.

Randall said he also stages three ambulances in the St. George area in order to reply to emergency calls in a timely manner. He said he believes the staging allows the ambulances to respond to calls within 8 minutes, 59 seconds, which he said is a recognized industry standard.

Max Miller, the presiding officer over the hearing, asked Randall what percentage of transports occur within the St. George area. Randall said it is approximately 76 percent – the bulk of Dixie Ambulance’s business.

Gold Cross itself maintains a contracted time with Salt Lake City, said Darren Judd, CAD system deployment coordinator for Gold Cross. For calls that require lights and sirens, a time of no more than 9 minutes 59 seconds is recommended, though Judd said Gold Cross holds itself to a standard of 8 minutes 59 seconds. For calls that do not require lights and sirens, the time limit is higher.

Judd said the CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system used by Gold Cross tracks calls and response times, as well as helps coordinate the placement of ambulances throughout Salt Lake City. The system also recommends to dispatch the nearest available ambulance, and moves on the next available unit should the original choice already be in use.

Judd said he had used the system to analyze response times for Dixie Ambulance supplied by St. George Dispatch, though said a part of the data, an estimated 2 minutes 40 seconds, was missing in some cases. The 2 minutes 40 seconds is the estimated average time elapsed from when dispatch first receives a call to when Dixie Ambulance is contacted. Judd’s data indicated Dixie Ambulance’s response times over the last three years were not the best.

Dunn proceeded to question Judd’s findings, and said the data was not formulated properly. Judd said he used “a random sampling” of calls.

Gold Cross Ambulance currently holds an inter-facility transport license for Salt Lake City. The only region it has a license for intermediate (emergency) transport is Vernal and the surrounding area. Dixie Ambulance currently holds a paramedic rescue license and intermediate transport license for St. George and the surrounding communities.

The hearing will continue through Friday. The final recommendation to the state will not be made at that time, though. Miller said the decision could take a week, a month, or longer to finalize.

Update: The hearing continued on Wednesday at 8 a.m. and recessed at 1:40 p.m. Additional witness testimony was given concerning the state of Dixie Ambulance’s solvency and compliance with the two-paramedic rule. The remainder of the witnesses will appear Thursday morning, with closing arguments possible being given around 1 p.m. Elements of Wednesday’s testimony will be featured in the article covering Thursday’s proceedings.

Related posts:

Perspectives: Making sense of the ambulance war

Ambulance war scapegoat? St. George Dispatch responds to hearing testimony

Ambulance war: Broken system, dispatch delays? Decision pending

Public support for Dixie Ambulance floods hearing

Public hearing to discuss ambulance service in St. George; Dixie Ambulance receives negative audit

Dixie Ambulance Voices its Opinion on Gold Cross’ Application; Gold Cross Says System is Broken

Letter to the Editor: Consider the Cost

Gold Cross Could Replace Dixie Ambulance if Application is Approved

Gold Cross Submits Application to Provide 911 Ambulance Services in St. George

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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33 Comments

  • Pamala Englert December 5, 2012 at 4:01 am

    PLEASE READ: Our community, city officials and anybody involved with this case should know that Gold Cross Ambulance sued Salt Lake City in 2006. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/635183362/Gold-Cross-suing-SL-over-ambulance-pact.html?pg=all They also sued West Valley, ultimately losing both cases. This story states that for Gold Cross Ambulance, “the only region in which it has a license for intermediate (emergency) transport is Vernal and the surrounding area.” How much information needs to be presented to City of St. George officials and our community members before everybody realizes the truth as to why Gold Cross Ambulance seeks the St. George market? This is indeed a dangerous precedent to establish and as a community member, I am appalled that our city officials would even consider placing the critical role of emergency transport in the hands of Michael Moffitt, President of Gold Cross Ambulance.

    The City of St. George, as written in state law, has the right to choose their own ambulance services provider. Our community has a great ambulance services provider in Dixie Ambulance. I feel it is a fair and reasonable question to pose to our city officials. Why, if you had a decades long ambulance service provider within your own community; whom your constituency fully supports, would you hand over your decision making authority to the Bureau of Emergency Management Services, partially governed by a committee upon which Michael Moffitt, President of Gold Cross Ambulance serves?

    There are so many reasons for cities and counties to maintain as much control over their own communities as they can, not relinquishing any unnecessary power to any state or federal government agency. Please take the time to review this link, https://health.utah.gov/ems/stateemscommittee/ems_minutes_2012-10.pdf , clearly evidence that Mr. Moffitt serves on the EMS Committee through the Bureau of Emergency Management Systems. While it is mandated by state rules; that one private EMS provider is required to serve on the committee, it is a role appointed through an application process. Mr. Moffitt also serves on the Rule Revision Task Force of this same committee. Below I have listed the powers which are granted to this committee. From this and other very public information, how could any reasonable person not perceive this to be an extreme conflict of interest?

    Title 26
    Utah Health Code
    Chapter 8a
    Utah Emergency Medical Services System Act
    Section 104
    Committee powers.
    26-8a-104. Committee powers.
    The committee shall adopt rules in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, that:
    (1) establish certification and reciprocity requirements under Section 26-8a-302;
    (2) establish designation requirements under Section 26-8a-303;
    (3) promote the development of a statewide emergency medical services system under Section 26-8a-203;
    (4) establish insurance requirements for ambulance providers;
    (5) provide guidelines for requiring patient data under Section 26- 8a-203;
    (6) establish criteria for awarding grants under Section 26-8a-207;
    (7) establish requirements for the coordination of emergency medical services and the medical supervision of emergency medical service providers under Section 26-8a-306; and
    (8) are necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the committee as specified in other sections of this chapter.

    Is the City of St. George next in line to be sued by Gold Cross Ambulance? Please read the story at this link: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/north/highland/article_818691c5-b7b6-5ebf-b801-db619b2f2824.html

    Note Mr. Moffitt’s response to Councilman Brian Braithwaite when he made a comment in a presentation by Mr. Moffitt to the City of Highland, designed to induce them into contracting the services of Gold Cross Ambulance. “It sounds too good to be true,” said Councilman Brian Braithwaite. “Why doesn’t every city in the State of Utah use your service?” Legitimate question, one I would certainly ask. Mr. Moffit’s response: “Outside of the Wasatch Front, ambulance service is done by volunteers, Moffitt said. On the Wasatch Front, “it started out mostly private but through the 1980s the International Association of Fire Chiefs realized incidents of fire were going down and we have all these guys sitting around, what are we going to do? We’ll get into EMS service.” Fire stations began running ambulances and charging for the service in order to bring in revenue, he said. As that practice has become more expensive, some cities are beginning to change their minds. I’m in discussion with two other cities who have their own EMS and can’t afford it and want to get out of the business,” Moffit said.

    Apparently that is not working out too well for Mr. Moffitt or he would not be attempting to induce the City of St. George into contracting with Gold Cross using deceitful, cunning and unethical methods. His statement above is filled with, not just inaccuracies, but purposely stated false information.

    Clearly Mr. Moffitt has unfairly had access to grant applications and other materials submitted to the Bureau of Emergency Management Services by Dixie Ambulance Services. The Grants Subcommittee attends, reports and distributes materials at every EMS committee meeting.

    In a meeting held on September 15, 2012, “Mike Mathieu, President of the Utah Fire Chiefs Association, asked Paul Patrick to brief the Association on the developments regarding ambulance licensing in St. George. He also asked him “whether a rule change or statutory change is necessary to convince other license holders throughout the State that Gold Cross cannot interfere in other parts of the State as it appears they have done in St. George.” Mr. Patrick’s response: “there is no statute to change and that this is being handled by rule, insisting that the current administrative proceeding should be played out so that the BEMS can clarify once and for all what Gold Cross’s “statewide” license means.”

    Can anybody please explain to me and all other concerned community members in St. George how it is not a conflict of interest for Paul Patrick, Deputy Division Director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness, to be so insistent regarding the issue of Gold Cross Ambulance, a private EMS provider? Remember, the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness is a state agency.

    I feel it is also important for community members to “follow the money and the motives.” Take some time to research the campaign contributions by Gold Cross Ambulance to several state representatives over a span of many years. The amount is truly astounding. Research and you will then know of up to four lobbyists hired by Gold Cross over the years to help them be in the various positions they have sought – in the case of contracts for the provision of emergency medical services, mostly unsuccessful. This is their last ditch effort to come to our great community and destroy a private business; an employer of many people; a great family. This is their attempt to seize control for reasons born of greed and profit motives. If any of us allow this to happen, we should be ashamed.

    Please also note that one thing Gold Cross must do in order to replace Dixie Ambulance Services, is prove to the Bureau that Dixie Ambulance is somehow lacking in its ability to competently serve our community. Anybody who attended last night’s meeting and witnessed the hundreds of community supporters who came to support Dixie Ambulance and speak out about this vitally important community issue,will not believe that burden has been met. This issue should not have gone this far. Michael Moffitt and Gold Cross Ambulance should long ago have received the “memo” that they are not needed or welcome in this community. Gold Cross Ambulance seeks to put Dixie Ambulance Service out of business, for no other reason than to benefit from the new territory/business in Southern Utah they would receive as a result. If you are in business, you may compare this to your biggest competitor in your industry being the only person serving on a state committee which would then be given the right and responsibility to determine your fate.

    Michael Moffitt, President of Gold Cross Ambulance, is the person who issued results of their own study to determine the quality of service provided by Dixie Ambulance Service. That would be no different than your biggest business competitor being allowed to publicly distribute results of their own study about the quality of services you provide. Does that seem fair to you?

    I could write and share so much more on this issue, but know I am only one voice. What I know for certain is that we each as responsible community members owe it to ourselves and to Dixie Ambulance Services, that we would not allow that this long-standing business would be forced out of business; that its employees would lose their jobs, etc., without knowing all relevant facts. In media reports relating to this issue, while you will see some facts, you will not see all relevant facts, so critical to your understanding.

    Imagine for even one moment being a business owner, operating for many years in a community you love, only to be powerless to save your business from being destroyed by those who would seek to do you harm. I do not mean to imply that anybody has done anything blatantly wrong, but I am certain most people will understand how improper politics often drive decisions and actions. Uninformed citizens who do not do their homework and do not take steps to prevent wrong actions from occurring only make it easier for these things to continue. We should all strive to be responsible, intelligent people who care enough to seek and state facts, ask proper questions and be seekers of absolute TRUTH.

    Though our community support for Dixie Ambulance is vitally important, please be prepared to ask good questions and challenge answers not seeming to be the facts. Please do not allow yourself to succumb to gossip or fancy reports of figures and presentation of data analysis. As a long-time business consultant, I can tell you, it is often a way to “gloss over” facts which are most relevant to this critical process. The decision over which ambulance provider should serve our community should not have been placed by our own city leaders into the hands of a state agency on which a committee member with a clear conflict of interest and self-serving motives serves.

    This is not an issue about the quality of EMT’s, Paramedics. We all should know and believe that most who enter these fields do so out of a genuine desire to serve; because they truly love helping people and saving lives. Therefore, why would any of us read and absorb the gossip in the form of comments, which very obviously comes from anonymous people, many of whom likely could be employees of the very company seeking to destroy a great company within our community?

    My last, but perhaps most important statement involves asking you to put yourself in the shoes of the owners of Dixie Ambulance Service. I do not know them personally, but have experienced the quality of the services they provide. Their EMT’s and Paramedics worked diligently to help me, various family members and others I know, and only from a place of genuine compassion and desire to serve. It is not that reason for me to speak out about this issue. I speak out for I believe it is a responsibility for all of us. If you placed yourself in the shoes of the owners and employees of this business which fights for its mere survival, how would you feel?

    Dixie Ambulance Services is being attacked and accused – now standing nearly defenseless against a business out of SLC, who seeks to drive them out of business. This issue has “bad politics” written all over it and we should all be concerned enough to be informed about the facts before it is too late. Improper politics and the inappropriate actions of others who may be driven by greed, which could potentially destroy private businesses, should NEVER be allowed. Without making accusations or implications of the potential wrongdoing of others, I only implore you to care enough to seek the truth before it is too late for this business. In my profession, I have seen this happen far too many times.

    There are many more valid points, all of which you may find and research if you will take the time to do so. One voice may not be able to make a difference, but together, many can.

    These are the “Values,” listed as part of the very mission of The Bureau of EMS and Preparedness, a state agency.

    Protection of the public
    Education
    Active listening
    Cost effective
    Trust
    Assurance
    Flexibility
    Responsive
    Service
    Honesty
    Support
    Leadership
    Communications
    Integrity
    Team work
    Quality
    Customer focus
    Open to the public
    Respect

    We as responsible citizens should assure that they live up to these stated “values,” and that begins with accepting our responsibility to be seekers of truth. If ever it is discovered that any political system or agency acts against the very values it claims as its mission, then who else is there to call them on it but responsible citizens who care enough to protect our fellow community members; our neighbors? I believe we all in our hearts and minds know the answer. It is our responsibility to do the right thing for the right reason. Demand the truth. Any decision about this issue should be delayed until that truth is known and understood.

    Beyond this critical issue, we should all be cognizant of the fact that there exists conflicts of interest within many government agencies. We should all be working toward resolving the unfairness of that issue. It begins with resolving this issue before us now, before it is too late for yet another vitally important private business within our community. Then, I promise you, if you are willing to seek out the necessary information and work to understand it, you will want to be a part of changing what truly is broken. It is not Dixie Ambulance Services. What is broken is our political systems on most every level. Please make a choice to be a part of positive change or someday you may find yourself and your family wearing the shoes of a victim.

    • Marcus December 6, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

  • Pamala Englert December 5, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Attn: Moderator,

    Please only moderate and publish my comment from 4:01 AM not 3:47 AM. I am passionate about this issue as a very concerned member of our community, enough that I am exhausted from not sleeping so that I could draft a comment. I see in my first comment, I made many punctuation and grammatical errors as a result of my exhaustion. I did not change content – I only attempted to correct my errors. Thank you for your kind consideration.

  • Mike Shaw December 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This issue is one of the most worthwhile matters of public concern I have seen in many years. Pamela Englert, your comment is very well presented and sparked my interest in “The $64 Million Dollar Question” of Who, exactly, is Gold Cross Services, Inc., doing business as Gold Cross Ambulance?

    Pamela’s reference to the lawsuit by Cold Cross against Salt Lake City in 2006 prompted me to look up Gold Cross in the Utah State Court’s on line records system, Exchange. I found literally hundreds of cases where Gold Cross sues people up and down the State over presumably unpaid ambulance bills. Small Claims and other cases suing people for as little as $132.00, and up to thousands of dollars. This is a whole cottage industry of collections actions for one corporation providing a public service under State License.

    After browsing through hundreds of cases taking 7 pages of one-line listings on the court’s website, I found one noteworthy case that cost the taxpayers (us) untold amounts of money–all for naught. In November of 2004, Gold Cross Services, Inc., sued West Valley City. Gold Cross sought a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (usually used to enforce one party’s rights over the other party’s actions while the dispute is pending in the courts). After many affidavits and legal briefs were filed and a hearing was held, the District Court in Salt Lake City denied the request for the Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction that Gold Cross had sought to impose on West Valley City.

    Undaunted, Gold Cross proceeded to depose City personnel and push the case through the expensive discovery process. The case ultimately went to trial and after the 8th day of trial, at the close of Gold Cross’s evidence, the Trial Judge DISMISSED their case with West Valley City not having to call a single witness in defense. You would think that Gold Cross would have learned a lesson here. They didn’t seem to, as they appealed the dismissal–but then apparently abandoned the appeal as this writer could not find any reported appellate case under the parties’ names.

    Perhaps most revealing is the case back in 1970 where Gold Cross got sued by Intermountain Ambulance Services, Inc., and a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction were granted against Gold Cross telling them they could not operate ambulances on the streets of Salt Lake City without the appropriate State License. Gold Cross argued that the license provision was unconstitutional as creating a monopoly. They lost and appealed. Their appeal was dismissed. It seems Gold Cross started their legal education a long time ago, as now they are using that same monopoly licensure to try to pull the plum from Dixie’s pudding by swooping the St. George City area out of Dixie’s service area. I wonder why Gold Cross isn’t seeking to service the less populated, rural areas that Dixie covers now? I have never liked “Cherry Picking” and I don’t like the idea of a locally owned and operated business being imperiled because some greedy corporate raider sees an opportunity to make a buck.

    The case that upset me the most stems from a 1991 accident where a mother, who was making a left turn in an intersection on 700 East in Salt Lake City, was struck on her driver’s side by a Gold Cross Ambulance. The force of the collision was enough to throw open the passenger side door, the opening through which the daughter in the passenger’s seat was ejected. She suffered multiple skull fractures and other injuries. Gold Cross wanted their expert to testify that he did not believe the young girl’s or the mother’s testimony that the girl was belted in, and the skull fractures and other injuries would not likely have occurred if the girl were wearing her seatbelt. So, it’s HER fault? Well Gold Cross lost their argument to the trial court, and yes again to the appellate court. as well. I guess an ambulance hitting a car with enough force to throw open the door on the other side of the car does cause injuries, even skull fractures to a young daughter. I bet it could also cause a young girl to slide right out of a seat belt, too.

    Mr. Moffitt, take your lawyers and go back to Salt Lake, I hear you’re going to have some snow to shovel this weekend…

    • Marcus December 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

      • samantha December 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

        Marcus IS Steve Urquhart. No doubt about it! Mike Shaw and Pamala Englert’s comments obviously got to him.

        • marcus December 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

          Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

        • Marcus December 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

          Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

        • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic December 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

          Samantha, the person posting as “Marcus” is not Sen. Stephen Urquhart. Misattribution is not OK and liability for false statements is your own. Watch yourself, please.

          St. George News | STGnews.com
          Joyce Kuzmanic
          Editor-in-Chief

        • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic December 9, 2012 at 12:17 am

          Samantha,the person posting as “Marcus” is not Sen. Stephen Urquhart. Misattribution is not OK and liability for false statements is your own. Watch yourself, please.
          St. George News | STGnews.com
          Joyce Kuzmanic
          Editor-in-Chief

  • Gunther December 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I think the City of St George should take over and make this service a part of the Fire Dept. for their citizens. Let these 2 other companies fight it out for the remainder of the cities in the county.

    • Mee December 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      Yeah,since the goverment is so efficient at running all of its other programs! I guess if you don’t mind paying more for a service then it would be great.

  • Tor Lowry December 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    2003 » Year law introduced by Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, to allow competitive bids for emergency 911 service. The law passed and cemented Gold Cross Ambulance as state’s primary nonemergency ambulance provider. (most profitable segment). Please research and you will see that Gold Cross Ambulance is the 2nd largest campaign contributor to Sen. Curtis Bramble. Sen. Bramble is not the only state level politician or PAC to receive dollars and contributions which exceed over $200,000.00.

    Since then, Gold Cross Ambulance has already been granted the contract to be the primary nonemergency ambulance provider, again the most profitable segment in the ambulance business, for our local hospital. That move surely must have impeded the ability of Dixie Ambulance to operate as profitably as they may previously have, yet they did not allow that fact to prevent them from working very hard to keep many people employed and maintain an outstanding quality of service for our community.

    Now Gold Cross takes yet another step to intrude in St. George, permeating our community with lies and vicious attacks for one more opportunity to get its foot in the door. The people who commented above are correct. Do your research and allow the real facts to guide decisions and actions. I’m glad I made that decision today and the information available to us is endless. Gold Cross does a fairly decent job with search engine optimization making sure these results are just a little harder to find. Keep digging. Let’s not establish a precedent in our community that it is acceptable for any person or business to use unfair and improper business tactics and political maneuvering to drive respectable businesses in our community out of business. Do not let the so-called humanitarian appearing donations by Mr. Moffitt to our local hospital and college fool you. It’s logical he would do such things before launching his attack on DAS. Let’s keep our comments civil and conduct due diligence. After this election year I for one am not keen at all on the idea that we should be turning over more power to higher levels of government.

  • DoubleTap December 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Why did the City of St. George leadership decide not to name the service it wanted? Did any of the council members get any political campaign donations from Gold Cross? The city should have held on to the right to name the service they want for their citizens.

  • Pamala Englert December 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Gunther, it is a possibility that Gold Cross Ambulance has already offered some incentive to the City of St. George to do just that, as they have already made several unsuccessful attempts to do that in other cities throughout Utah. Their proposals to other cities have been rejected and should be here as well. Our council members need to be aware of the potential implications of allowing this to occur here, in a community in which they actively promote the success and growth of private businesses. Statistically, cities lose money on the provision of 911 emergency services and often must recoup their losses through taxation of its citizens. I hope this will not be a case, similar to the fate of other Utah cities in the past who entered into Memorandums of Understanding and Contractual Agreements with Gold Cross Services only to later be sued or be forced to deal with a lower quality of service and the backlash typically associated with an unhappy community; its own constituency. Emergency Services Transport is about saving lives and providing compassionate, quality care. St. George should instead seek to openly work together with Dixie Ambulance Services, their existing provider, to determine the best possible way to continue providing outstanding emergency transport services within our community. There is an answer to every problem and the solution is not that our community would allow this to happen. When DAS lost their non-emergency services contract, the most profitable portion of any ambulance service provider, they could have chosen to turn their back, treating profit dollars as more important than caring for their community members and saving lives. They instead chose to fight harder, despite the problems forced upon them by an unethical person out of SLC, in order that they may continue doing what they have successfully and compassionately have done for over two decades in our community. Thank you for “listening.”

  • Paraminnick December 6, 2012 at 11:12 am

    People you are missing the bottom line which is Gold Cross Ambulance wants to increase staffing of Paramedics on duty each day from 3 to 8. This will save lives. They want to increase staffing by 33% this will save lives. They want to do this without charging you one dime more that Dixie Ambulance currently does. The reason for resistance is the “good old boy” mentality. The current system can be improved and has already been forced to make changes due to this going forward. You as residents deserve the best ambulance service, with the most highly trained responders, with the fastest response times possible. Why would you settle for less? Pamela Englert your comments are nothing short of slander as you put forth more and more untrue statements. Mike Shaw you are upset that Gold Cross uses the courts to have people pay them for services rendered. Do you really think those that use the services of a private company should not have to pay for them. Go to your mechanic and get your car fixed then leave without paying. I’m sure Dixie Ambulance uses a collection agency to get monies owed them by patients. Gene and Mike Moffitt are good men. They provide good paying jobs to hundreds of employees at fair wages. They are honest men who run a company that provides a service that nearly every person will use at some point and they do it well. As a part time resident of St George and a full time Gold Cross employee I will state that I know that this is the time to retain the best company for the job with Gold Cross.

    • Steve December 6, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Paraminnick, your comments stating that other comments made are “slander” and “untrue” are simply false. Do the research and you will find that they are in fact true. Do a google search and read the city council documents available in cities where Gold Cross previously served. This is a company that we as a community simply do not want here. Dixie Ambulance offers excellent service and should be allowed to remain in operation. If the Southwest Physicians Group, which comprises all of the physicians in the emergency department at DRMC, support and have voiced they would rather keep Dixie Ambulance Service than have Gold Cross here, I personally feel carries a lot of weight. My last comment to you is where were you during the public comment hearing to support your precious gold cross? The community has spoken.

      • Steve December 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        I need to make a correction to my comment. It is the Southwest Emergency Physicians Group, not the Southwest Physicians Group. Thanks

      • Marcus December 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm

        Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

    • Pamala Englert December 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Paraminnick, (because you do not state your true name). First I would like to express gratitude to you just in case you are a EMT or Paramedic (because you only state that you are an “employee” of Gold Cross).

      Nothing I have stated is slander. Slander is defined as the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. Truth is not slander. All of my information is publicly available and not just from media sources. I am happy to provide the links and resources for you if you do not have time to do the research on your own.

      Community resistance in this case has nothing at all to do with what you state as the reason. I have only lived in St. George for approximately five years. What I strongly object to is the political maneuverings which are occurring at both the city and state level.

      Truly, if Dixie Ambulance Services was in Salt Lake City using unethical political ties to attempt to drive Gold Cross out of business, I would be exposing that truth as well.

      You are welcome to comment directly to me again. I only would ask that you maintain civility and respect, for I will not respond otherwise. Thank you.

  • ken December 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

    @Paraminnick.. .. Thanks for your biased opinion…It reminded me of the guy who used his mother as a job reference.. So your saying that Gold Cross will increase staffing by 33 percent and not raise costs? That makes no business sense at all. You talk about “good old boy” mentality..I talk about if it isn’t broke why fix it? Can you give specifics where Dixie Ambulance failed to provide services or where someone died from their lack of training and or response time? I mean specifics not just hearsay, thanks.

    • Marcus December 7, 2012 at 12:16 am

      Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

  • Paraminnick December 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Ambulance service rates are regulated by the state office of BEMS. Gold Cross can’t charge any more as everybody charges the same amount for ambulance service. Ken find one person who has placed a non-biased opinion on any article related to this topic. I am biased as I like Gold Cross and I know that they are an excellent employer and a company that I’m proud to work for.

    • Marcus December 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

  • Tor Lowry December 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    We already have an outstanding company to provide ambulance services within our community. The best part is that they save lives and serve our community without having to sue people and cities – without having to pay lobbyists to attempt to change state legislation and without making campaign contributions to legislators to serve their own interests. The “bottom line” you state about increasing the number of paramedics, etc., is not even a valid point, especially since our community has never been dissatisfied with their ambulance service and wasn’t seeking a new service. Your employer used unethical means to attempt a hostile takeover of our existing ambulance service provider. If our community “fight back” it’s because they’re sending a loud message to Gold Cross to stay away from where they’re services are neither wanted or needed. You’re entitled to be proud of the company you work for @Paraminnick. I don’t see anybody asking you to work for anybody else. If the truth about your employer is hard for you to read, my advice for you is that you not read it. If facts in general are important to you, then all I could suggest is that you do your research like many people in our community are doing right now. I applaud the people who are doing their homework and working to get the facts into the hands of the public. We all deserve the truth about every issue which affects us as citizens of any community. Personally, I’m not interested in anything but the facts and I have them through my own efforts. I agree with what Steve said. “If the Southwest Physicians Group, which comprises all of the physicians in the emergency department at DRMC, support and have voiced they would rather keep Dixie Ambulance Service than have Gold Cross here, I personally feel carries a lot of weight.” Combine those physicians with hundreds of community members and you have the only answer you need.

  • Marcus December 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

    • Uh? December 7, 2012 at 2:17 am

      That’s a pretty ridiculous comment. They are medical control doctors. It doesn’t matter what agency is here, they still need a control doctor. And the doctor still gets paid because he trains and works hand in hands with the agency.

      If any of the doctors felt like DAS was inadequate, they would say it.

    • Tor Lowry December 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      When you decide to reveal your true identity, I will consider responding with facts, “Marcus.” Until then, enjoy hiding behind your computer screen because I don’t participate in making comments that are disrespectful and which are not facts. “Spin” all you want. My time and attention will only be given to people who are respectful and civil to each other even in disagreement. I find it interesting that when I click on your partial
      e-mail address on one of your comments that it takes me to the Facebook page for the City of St. George. Maybe next time you make a comment, you should take the time to understand how you create trails on the internet.

  • Big Bob December 7, 2012 at 1:38 am

    If you’re all-around better to serve the community and save lives, Go GOLD CROSS!!

  • Big man on campus December 7, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Hey Dixie, for one, today your name is offensive and needs to go along with the new university, and two, why not push to go into the metro SLC area and try totake over Gold Cross?! He*#, what’s stopping you? Who says the bigger, capitol city has to win all the time/ Lol

  • Jon December 8, 2012 at 7:06 am

    For all you guys that are for Dixie keeping their current contract you are for the employees getting screwed and a lack of quality pt care. Dixie only pays its Paramedics 11 dollars an hour and its EMT’s 7 dollars an hour. They have no health insurance and pretty much all employees have to work second jobs so they can make ends meet while the owners are skimming a million dollars off the top of the company. Dixie’s ambulances are old and there have been many times where the call volume is high and there are not enough people to respond to all the calls. The employees are forced to use maps out of the phone book or their personal I Phones to find their way to a 911 call because the owners are too cheap to put navigation systems in the ambulances. There system when there are more calls than can be handled is to send out a page and hope that someone shows up on scene from their house. I think allot of people are failing to realize that if Gold Cross comes in most of the Dixie employees will just go over there, so esentally you will have the same people getting paid more with benifits, better equipment, working for a real company.

    • Marcus December 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Ed. Note: Comment removed at the request of Marcus

  • Tor Lowry December 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I suggest that people in St. George take a few seconds to try this:

    Google: marcus theon st george utah

    Search Result:

    City of St. George – Saint George, UT – City, Sports Club | Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/cityofstgeorgeShareTo connect with City of St. George, sign up for Facebook today. Sign UpLog … City of St. George – Saint George, UT ….. Marcus Theon Hello City of Saint George.

    Must have used the same e-mail address to establish the FB account for the City of St. George. That’s really interesting. Shouldn’t “Marcus” figure out where his internet trail will lead before he chooses to make comments like those above? Just an observation. No accusation but think about it because if you understand how Google works then you’ll get it. Sorry “Marcus.” No need to be offended by something that is true. Try it yourself and maybe you’ll have a chance to petition Google to remove that search result before too many people figure it out.

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