Released by: Health Services
For Immediate Release

Sonoma County Updates Emergency Medical Services Ordinance

Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 12, 2019  –  Today the Board of Supervisors held a final reading for approved revisions to the Sonoma County Code Chapter 28, Emergency and Pre-hospital Care for emergency medical services brought forward by the Department of Health Services (DHS).

The approved ordinance updates the current Code with comprehensive changes for emergency medical services (EMS)—medical care administered through the 911 system or other field medical response—by paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) or public safety first aid providers.

“The updates to the EMS ordinance will ensure that Sonoma County has a high quality, organized system for ambulance care for all Sonoma County residents,” said Board Chair David Rabbitt. “These modifications were necessary and I am pleased to support our local emergency medical service agencies and strengthen our system of care through this ordinance update.”

This most recent revision addresses the permitting process for all levels of ambulance services operating within the County and provides direction to DHS regarding local policy development, data collection and use, ambulance service provider areas, and local jurisdictional rights and responsibilities relative to the delivery of ambulance services.

The Department’s goal is to ensure the safe, effective delivery of quality EMS care throughout the County. The ordinance development process was a collaborative effort beginning in February 2018 with participation from public and private sector service provider organizations, including the Cities and Special Districts providing EMS response around the County. Participation also included public and private labor organizations, hospital partners and EMS educators.

The collaborative approach yielded a consensus revision that passed on a unanimous vote at last week’s Board Meeting on November 5, 2019. After the ordinance goes into effect 30 days from its passage today, the Department’s Coastal Valleys EMS Agency staff will work with local EMS partners over the following 12 months to implement the changes outlined in the revised Code.

DHS Director Barbie Robinson said she was grateful for stakeholders’ input to help develop these latest revisions as it is the first time the ordinance was updated since 1999.

“We are very proud of the robust and transparent stakeholder process that was used to update the ordinance and this latest version is reflective of a shared commitment to the provision of high quality emergency medical services by all providers in our community,” said Robinson.

In the Photo below;  DHS leadership and EMS stakeholders standing together after the final reading of the latest EMS ordinance on November 12, 2019 at the Sonoma County Administration Center.


From left to right: American Medical Response Regional Director Dean Anderson, Sonoma County Fire District Chief Mark Heine, REDCOM Fire/EMS Communications Center Executive Director Aaron Abbott, Sonoma County Department of Health Services Director Barbie Robinson, City of Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner, Coastal Valleys EMS Agency EMS Coordinator James Salvante and Forestville Fire Protection District Chief Dave Franceschi.


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