Fire Alliance & Transport Update
Posted On: Jun 18, 2024

Sisters & Brothers,

Since December, we've discussed the administration's proposal for a one-year pilot with TriMed, called the Fire Alliance, to provide patient transport. This model aims to generate revenue to fund the service and hire more firefighters, increasing aid cars and reducing call volume on our rigs. Chief Carson is expected to provide more details on the overarching goals and why admin has dedicated significant effort to this initiative.

Your Executive Board has discussed the Fire Alliance numerous times and supports admin's efforts to find additional revenue sources and solutions to put more firefighters and rigs in service, while reducing the overall health and safety impact on our members. While other impacts will be created, the few fire departments running similar models have managed to staff additional rigs and increase firefighter numbers with minimal impact on current members due to the significant revenue generated. 

We are moving forward on two fronts:

  • Fire Alliance: TriMed ambulances will be assigned to fire stations to respond to and transport only PSF calls.
  • Temporary Measure: Admin proposes temporarily transporting patients on our current aid cars for 90 days as a bridge to the Fire Alliance.

These initiatives have different impacts on members and are being addressed separately. We have met with the administration twice in the last week and a half to understand their goals and address potential impacts. During the Temporary Measure, they have the authority to make staffing decisions based on our collective bargaining agreement (FF/Capt. CBA Article 11 – Management Rights), while our union retains the right to bargain any impacts of their decisions. We will continue to work with admin on their goals while striving to reduce or eliminate negative impacts on our members.

Temporary Measure Key Points:

  • Temporary Measure Goals: Collect data with the expectation that transporting with PSF aid cars will impact rig reliability and other undesirable operational issues. Finance and other divisions with be working on billing and other administrative impacts the alliance will create. 

  • Solutions to Impacts: Discussing solutions for those on aid cars who may need to transport a few times a day.

  • Transport When You Can vs. Pro Pay Options:
    • Admin has agreed to discuss pro pay for those assigned to the aid car if it's added to minimum staffing requirements. This potentially creates additional mandatories for 90 days, though consistent with L1747 past practice with staffing requirements. The goal is to transport every dispatched call.
    • Use current A74 and A71 to transport their own calls, when possible, with the discretion to use flexibility late at night. The goal is to transport a handful of calls a day, but the crew has flexibility.
    • We also have a few other solutions, one being to staff another 12-hour OT aid car to lessen the impact on A71. This and others will be discussed the next time we meet with Admin.

Fire Alliance Key Points:

  • Fire Alliance Goals: Create a pathway to a new revenue stream, Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT), that will fund a contract with TriMed for transport services, new firefighter positions and additional 24 hour staffed aid cars. Currently, TriMed is not eligible to collect GEMT revenue for transports but PSF as a public agency can bill and receive money from Health Care Authority. A partnership is desired that will allow PSF to bill Medicare/Medicaid for GEMT revenue via contracting with TriMed and housing them in our fire stations.

  • Impacts: We know impacts will be created, though have not formally discussed with Admin in an official capacity. We expect to discuss the impacts after we have resolved the Temporary Measure impacts.

We are also working to establish an inter-local agreement with TriMed Local I-98, which will be voted on by the members of both locals. This agreement will define and protect the work of each union and address other anticipated administrative matters with cohabitating crews. The document is currently being drafted.

We appreciate your attention to these developments and will keep you updated as we progress. Soon, we anticipate a communication announcement from Chief Carson, along with members of the Executive Board, to provide further communication, updates on the initiatives and plans. Your ongoing support and engagement are crucial as we move forward.



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