For you folks on Bethel Island, you have officially been duped. It appears the decision has been made to pull ambulance off the Island and station it at 200 W. Cypress in the trailer park behind Rositas in Oakley.
The move is being deemed “temporary” which is now the second time that word has been used in 3-weeks. AMR apparently wants to see if the new location can still allow AMR to make their response times.
If you recall, a few weeks back this 24-hour ambulance was deemed an “upgrade” which the Contra Costa Times took the bait as opposed to seeing the obvious that this was a bait and switch and shifting of folks. Here is what the Times reported.
“This is not a take-away — this is a substitution,” said Pat Frost, director of Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services, which oversees the county’s contract with AMR.
She emphasized that the change actually will provide Bethel Island residents with better service, not only because there will be two paramedics instead of one, but because those first responders will be able to transport victims to the hospital.
Ben Whitener had pointed out on this site last week this was a flaw and he saw this coming as the word temporary was used. He was right. Now folks are left without a fire station and an ambulance. Bethel Island officially been given the step-child treatment of East County.
The map below shows where the ambulance was stationed in Bethel Island (on the right side) and it’s new location in Oakley (on the left side). It’s a difference of about 5-miles.
The move was actually pretty predictable and you can’t really blame AMR and the County EMS for such a move based off the call volume in Oakley, although it doesn’t make it right. Station 93 has actually had triple the amount of calls it normally would have had to answer. From that standpoint, the move does make sense.
Honsty is the best policy and it’s time for the County EMS, AMR and ECCFPD need to be honest with folks so we can be prepared going forward. Slowly making these changes only makes it worse and confuses people.
Stay tuned over the next couple of days, I am waiting for the spin control police to come out to say this is another substitution and not a take away.