Diamond Springs, CA December 23, 2022 – El Dorado County Fire Protection District will soon be providing ambulance services in Diamond Springs with service beginning in early spring. El Dorado County Fire Protection District has committed to staffing an additional transporting medic unit that will restore the gap in services that occurred when staffing shortages shut down the previous Diamond Springs medic unit.
“The loss of the second busiest ambulance in our system has been tough on our crews. The 300-plus emergencies per month that were handled by this closed ambulance have been shifted to our other units,” said Fire Chief Tim Cordero. This will be the fifth medic unit that El Dorado County Fire Protection District operates and the eighth medic unit in the West Slope emergency medical services (EMS) system. The additional medic unit will operate out of Diamond Springs – El Dorado Fire Protection District’s Station 49 in historic Diamond Springs. “It will be a joint effort with County Fire personnel working side by side with Diamond Springs Fire crews in their firehouse,” continued Cordero.
The former “Medic 49” came offline July 1 and was fully shuttered in early November of this year. “We are looking forward to bringing back the eighth medic unit in our system. The loss of this unit has really stretched our crews to the limits.” says Cordero. Since August, other medic units have shouldered the system demands with one medic unit being temporarily moved, as a stop-gap measure, to a fire station near Missouri Flat Rd and El Dorado Rd. “I am proud of all our crews for their hard work, long shifts and commitment to providing a high level of service to our communities and citizens,” adds Cordero. El Dorado County Emergency Services Authority (West Slope JPA) oversees the eight West Slope JPA ambulances that are operated daily by local fire service agencies. These ambulances directly serve approximately 150,000 county residents. To restore response and transport capacity to the emergency medical service system, the West Slope JPA opened a request for proposal (RFP) process that closed this week. During the December 21, 2022 meeting of the JPA Board of Directors, El Dorado County Fire Protection District was selected to operate the new Diamond Springs medic unit. With the addition of this medic unit the burden on the EMS system’s other medic units will be lightened.
The Diamond Springs based ambulance will be staffed primarily with non-fire suppression paramedics. This will be the second medic unit staffed using the non-fire suppression personnel model. Due to ongoing state and national paramedic and firefighter shortages it has become necessary to be creative and flexible in meeting local emergency response needs. Three of the District’s medic units will remain staffed full-time with EMS responders also trained as firefighters. All of the medic units will provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) capabilities including a licensed paramedic. All medic units participate in a boundaryless system and will respond to emergencies throughout El Dorado County.