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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Dodgers organization has announced that contract talks have broken off with the Los Angeles Fire Department for the city to continue providing the ambulance service at home games.
A private ambulance service company will reportedly take over the service at Dodger Stadium, beginning with the team’s next homestand when the Dodgers host the Cincinnati Reds on July 25.
The club and LAFD have been discussing a draft agreement, but hurdles continued to present themselves at City Hall. City fire commissioners last week criticized the arrangement, stating that it required a shift of some on-duty personnel, due to a shortage of off-duty volunteers, who are paid by the Dodgers to work the games.
The commissioners suggested that the shifting of personnel led to increased costs for the department.
The team and LAFD “were looking to create a partnership which would provide emergency medical services to our fans at Dodger Stadium at no cost to the city or to the taxpayers. Based on information that we have recently received from the LAFD, it appears that our objectives are not attainable,” a statement from the Dodgers said.
“Therefore, we will again contract with a private ambulance company to provide the same high level of emergency medical services that Dodger fans have received throughout the history of Dodger Stadium,” the team stated.
LAFD Battalion Chief Armando Hogan said that the department was grateful “for the opportunity for this public-private collaboration, and we remain interested in providing public safety services in the future.”
Hogan stated a week ago that a plan, which came together in May to assign overtime staff to additional ambulance crews, resulted in a limited pool of off-duty firefighters who could work the Dodger games. The budget constraints of recent years, which led to a lack of new hires, contributed to this.
Fire Chief Brian Cummings had originally intended to reassign firefighters from light force fire trucks to 11 additional ambulance crews, but Los Angeles City Council members intervened to provide funding to keep truck crews together while also staffing the other ambulances.
With medical emergencies reportedly making up 85 percent of calls to the fire department, Cummings has works over the last year to guide the department’s resources toward offering more medical emergency services.
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