Home American Medical Response AMR Moves Bethel Island Ambulance to Brentwood

AMR Moves Bethel Island Ambulance to Brentwood

by ECT

Bethel Island residents can expect to be waiting longer for AMR to arrive as their ambulance has moved locations for the third time in a month as its new home is now in Brentwood likely causing response times to likely jump to 12-15 minutes. The move will also affect Oakley and Knightsen residents as well.

On July 15, we were told AMR was going to be stationed at the corner of Cypress/Main in Oakley behind Rositas which was 4 miles away from Bethel Island. Now it’s been moved again and this time further away to Brentwood Blvd/Sunset Rd. which is the same quarters as PM299—roughly 7.5 miles away (17 minutes) according to Google maps.

This move reduces the level of service to the people of Bethel Island, Knightsen and Oakley while increasing service levels to Brentwood as they now have the additional ambulance.

If you recall, on June 29, Pat Frost, director of Contra Costa Emergency Medical Services, did her best sales job to the Contra Costa Times to ensure this was not a take away, but rather a substitution.  Well 30 days later, the substitution is gone and it’s a complete removal of medical services out of the area.

The move from Oakley to Brentwood appears to have occurred due to an argument between AMR and the owner of the trailer. From what I am being told, this agreement lasted just few days as the trailer was loaned for use by an AMR employee—it’s unclear if it was a mobile home or a motor home. I’ve spoken to several AMR folks and firefighters and they stated there was an argument within 48-hours and AMR left the trailer for the Brentwood station.

According to AMR folks in the field, the trailer did not have enough space; workers did not have separate rooms (rumored to be a 1 bedroom for multiple people). With 1 bedroom, the additional beds were a sofa and a couch. There was also a problem with the sirens were going off in the trailer park when the engine left.

Here are the chain of events have occurred to Bethel Island over a period of 30 days.

  • June 29 – County EMS/AMR promise ambulance/paramedics
  • July 1 – Bethel Island Station closed
  • July 15 –Ambulance moved to Oakley
  • July 18 (around that time)  Ambulance moved from Oakley to Brentwood

It is unclear if this is a temporary move or not but I can only hope they are trying to find housing near the Island.

I will update this story when more details become available.

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BenSmith Aug 3, 2012 - 8:57 am

Fine with me that they are in Brentwood, that is where most of the calls are. By the way, didn’t the firefighters on Bethel Island live in a trailor? What is good for firefighters is not good for AMR?

JimSimmons42 Aug 3, 2012 - 9:01 am

Not cool AMR, not cool! Mike, i’d encourage you to reach out put some names to this story as this appears to be a rumor piece on what actually happened. I think your last line is most important, is this temporary or have they gone back on their word within 30 days of Bethel Island closing down. Any major incidents on Bethel Island where response times not met?

Jill_Thompson Aug 3, 2012 - 9:06 am

You have an Island of a few thousand and a town of 53,000. Put your resources where the people are. Based off your own article, I’d move if I was AMR as well.

Dede Aug 3, 2012 - 9:08 am

At least the FEMA trailer had separate bedrooms. A motor coach doesn’t. AMR probably is having a hard time finding a location (that is zoned correctly) for the ambulance , and won’t have people complaining about the siren noise when they leave on a call. As far as I’ve heard, there was no argument with the employee who loan the motor coach, it was the medics finding the working/living conditions unsatisfactory.

Jill_Thompson Aug 3, 2012 - 9:57 am

Dede, is this a case of have (firefighters) vs. have nots (AMR)? Seperate bedrooms was the problem? Sounds like AMR needs to get a bit tougher.

BethelBill Aug 3, 2012 - 9:14 am

Did AMR send out an alert to us on Bethel Island? I never got one! If they movd, we should be notified of longer response times and prepared for this problem. This makes me sick! How come I didn’t read about this in the Contra Costa Times when it happend and why is this being reported nearly too weeks later? I have a right to be pissed about this and I will be telling my neighbors today.

Dede Aug 3, 2012 - 9:32 am

The QRV and even the fire engine were sometimes off the Island “in the old days”. The QRV and engine responded to calls in Oakley, Brentwood, etc. Just had to listen to the scanner to hear that. So the Island was uncovered for hrs. sometimes. The Island still has ambulance service, it’s just not stationed on the Island. If 911 is called, AMR will have an ambulance respond and render proper treatment and transport as needed.

tom Aug 3, 2012 - 3:49 pm

Dede, “in the old days” the island was almost never left without fire for hours, coverage for the island was a high priority, engines from the district or even confire, would move up and cover. the qrv did leave for hours at a time. sure an ambulance showed up but it took a while.

Frank S Aug 3, 2012 - 4:46 pm

I think you missed the point of the ambulance moving spots. Response times have just increased and service decreased in terms of being their within 5 minutes, it greatly increases the risk someone could die.

Based on your comments, it appears the AMR people did not like a living situation so they threw a fit like children until they got their way.

Barbara DuMont Aug 3, 2012 - 11:12 am

Well this explains why they have been parked at Knightsen and East Cypress so much lately. So while AMR may have not followed through, the rig is still nearby. I knew that the trailer park wasn’t going to work and there really isn’t thing else that would work for AMR. So instead of getting all worked up, lets start the process of working toward a SOLUTION!!

burkforoakley Aug 3, 2012 - 11:28 am

I don’t think its about getting worked up, my purpose was to put out the information to raise awareness that says, “hey, AMR moved again”. From what I hear, the living conditions at the mobile home park made the FEMA trailer look like a mansion.

Not sure if its legal unless there is a lease, but AMR and ECCFPD may want to discuss a lease agreement at the Knightsen station. It’s more centrally located and has decent access points to Bethel, Oakley, and Brentwood would reduce response times to Bethel by a few minutes. Just have to make sure it makes sense and make sure no gifting of public funds occur.

Julio-Antioch Aug 3, 2012 - 11:20 am

Brentwood council has been working on the “fix” to get the service it wants so I guess this is the first step.

burkforoakley Aug 3, 2012 - 11:29 am

From what I’ve found out, multiple ECCFPD Directors didn’t even know about the move until they saw my post.

Bob Aug 3, 2012 - 11:57 am

The contract with AMR is between them and the county. Brentwood is not in a position and has no legal authority to dictate placement.

The contract has performance requirements relating to average response times, with penalty provisions for failure to meet them. That is the primary driver for placement of resources. Anyone suggesting otherwise should probably pick up the phone and call the folks who make those decisions rather than speculate.

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