Westminster OKs Ambulance Contract Despite Probe in LA

The Westminster City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a tentative agreement allowing Shoreline Ambulance Co. LLC of Huntington Beach to be its exclusive provider of emergency ambulances beginning Jan. 1, despite safety questions about the firm's operations in Los Angeles.

And Los Angeles city officials Thursday delayed a decision to revoke Shoreline LLC’s license to operate ambulances there until a Los Angeles County Health Department investigation reaches a conclusion regarding a June 12 incident, when the company allegedly operated an ambulance in Downey when its Los Angeles city license was suspended for previous improper transports.

But a Los Angeles city Board of Transportation vote today means that Shoreline LLC’s ambulance license possibly would be revoked for the June incident, in which city officials allege emergency medical technicians aboard the ambulance didn’t properly attend an unstable patient during transport.

With their vote Thursday transportation commissioners in Los Angeles asserted that a violation of ambulance codes anywhere was grounds for revocation of a Los Angeles city license. Once Los Angeles County officials make a final determination about the June incident, the transportation board then will consider what action, if any, is necessary.

Shoreline LLC is in final stages of a buyout of Shoreline Ambulance Corp., which for five years previously has provided private ambulances for 911 Westminster calls. The Orange County Fire Authority provides paramedics for Westminster, attending patients on hospital transports. OCFA has been critical of past Shoreline Corp. operations and recommended another ambulance firm for Westminster’s new contract that began this summer.

Late last month, Orange County Health Care Agency officials granted Shoreline LLC a license effective Jan. 1 to operate in the county.

The Westminster City Council’s vote allows for a 60-day period while the city assesses Shoreline LLC’s capabilities. A final decision then will be made on the operational pact.

Any actions taken against Shoreline LLC by the governing bodies in the city or county of Los Angeles could affect the firm’s ability to operate in Orange County. But if the Los Angeles actions drag on until Shoreline LLC receives all approvals in Orange County, they may end up having no impact on the ability of the firm to serve Westminster.

— REX DALTON
 

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