NewsCovering Kern County


Hall Ambulance failed to meet response time standards, report says

Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 02:51:19-05

In a report, the Kern County Public Health Department detailed that Hall Ambulance Services Inc. was not in compliance with a county ordinance when it came to how fast they responded to calls in 2017.

The Emergency Medical Services Department within Public Health determined Hall Ambulance failed to meet response time standards in more than one category.

Ambulance providers must submit their response time data to the department each month, according to their contract with the county. 

Failure to meet response times for four non-consecutive months, or three consecutive months result in a breach of contract, according to the Kern County Public Health Department.

Hall Ambulance has been both non-compliant, and in breach of contract due to their failure to meet those response standards, according to Public Health.

In response to the non-compliance, Public Health said they have met with Hall Ambulance on a regular basis, and have sent monthly notices requiring them to respond with a plan within 10 days, that would fix the problem. 

Harvey Hall, the president of Hall Ambulance Services Inc., responded to Public Health's report by saying they "continue to take steps to remedy all areas of non-compliance," and "are making significant progress and expect to have all open items closed soon." 

In response to a letter dated Jan. 2nd, Hall added they are committed to improving overall performance and have "hired 42 new employees since August 2017" and "had ten employees complete sponsored paramedic training," as well as "obtain their State license and County accreditation."

Hall also said that in November "the deployment of 25 new ambulances were started in the system," adding that the new vehicles would "improve overall system performance by providing a more reliable vehicle and decrease time lost to mechanical issues."

The letter went on to read that Hall Ambulance Service "continues to be hampered by Ambulance Patient Offload delays," saying the delays "are getting ridiculous."

In page two of the letter Hall proceeded to say "the hospital delays translate into poor response times," and "the hospitals, which are not subject to any sanctions for performance, have found that it is easy to dump their problem on my employees and me." 

The Kern County Public Health Department added they would like to provide more transparency to the public by reporting ambulance provider response times on their website every month.

The report is expected to be presented at the Kern County Supervisor's meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6th.