June 12, 2007 - Grand Jury Report on Ambulance and Dispatch Services

After a thorough investigation of San Joaquin County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) the Grand Jury has recommended that "the cities of Stockton, Lodi, and Manteca immediately begin to have their Emergency Medical Needs dispatched by Lifecom."

Most cities in San Joaquin County complied with the County's EMS Plan on May 1, 2006, and transferred their 911 emergency medical calls to the County's contracted EMS dispatch center AMR/Lifecom. The cities of Stockton, Lodi, and Manteca have refused to transfer 911 calls to AMR/Lifecom citing concerns with public safety, however the Grand Jury disagrees.

The Grand Jury acknowledged the ongoing litigation between the County and non-compliant cities stating "no matter the outcome, these cities should reevaluate their stance on Emergency Medical Dispatch and work together to serve the residents of San Joaquin County."

The Grand Jury dismissed accusations that the EMS Agency and its administrator had manipulated the system and acted negligently in administering the new contract, stating simply that the accusations of mismanagement and manipulation had "no validity".

Further, the Grand Jury found that the EMS Agency itself had identified "the only real threat which might affect the response and provision of emergency medical services" that of "the growing problem of delays of transferring care from the ambulances to the emergency departments".

In conclusion, the city councils of Stockton, Lodi and Manteca are required by the Grand Jury to "report to the Presiding Judge of the San Joaquin County Superior Court, in writing and within 90 days" with a response to the Grand Jury recommendations.