ST. GEORGE – The Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services ruled in favor of Gold Cross Ambulance Wednesday over long-time provider Dixie Ambulance Service as St. George’s exclusive 911-emergency medical services provider.
BEMS Executive Director Dr. David Patton issued the ruling in a 66-page document released Wednesday afternoon based on the recommendations made by Maxwell Miller. Miller was the state-appointed hearing officer who oversaw a four-day hearing in December between the two ambulance providers and concluded Dixie Ambulance should no longer provide EMS service for St. George and have its existing licenses for the city be granted to Gold Cross.
In the ruling, Patton said “the (Utah Department of Health) cannot reasonably conclude that continuance of the Dixie Ambulance licenses … is in the public interest. Rather, considered in total, the Department concludes that the evidence adduced at the hearing clearly shows that public convenience and necessity require that the Department issue Gold Cross the paramedic rescue and paramedic ambulance licenses for which it applied.”
Following the release of Hearing Officer Miller’s recommendation to the state, the City of St. George issued a letter to BEMS asking the agency to allow Dixie Ambulance a measure of time to rectify the inadequacies listed.
Among the inadequacies put forth by Hearing Officer Miller include: poor response times, inadequate use of available medical technologies, no clear goals, poor vehicle maintenance, little ability to reach the demands of a growing population, and a number of other issues.
Should Dixie Ambulance lose its EMS licenses for St. George, it will still be able to operate in the surrounding area where it retains licensure, such as Santa Clara and Washington. This will leave the ambulance service with about a third of its original service area.
Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager of St. George, said the mayor and city council are currently reviewing the ruling and will issue a unified statement when ready.
Mac Miller, public information officer for Dixie Ambulance, said the ruling mirrors the hearing officer’s recommendation and that Dixie Ambulance will appeal the ruling and go to court if necessary.
Patton’s ruling grants the EMS licenses for St. George to Gold Cross as of May 1, 2013.
Calls to Gold Cross were not returned by publication of this article.
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- Ambulance war: Contest for territory raises solvency, staffing issues at hearing
- 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
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