California’s Pension Woes Are Made Worse By Moving Emergency Services In House



However, there is no significant budgetary reform in the offing, and California’s cities and counties feel no compunction to address the issue. In fact, these days several municipalities are taking steps that will ultimately serve to exacerbate the shortfall by bringing in all of their emergency services “in house,” rather than contracting out emergency services to a private entity. 

The rationale typically given for such steps is that doing ambulance and fire services completely in house helps coordinate emergency responses and creates efficiencies, improving services and saving them money. 

However, such efforts rarely manage to help towns—or the state, for that matter—to save money. Contracting out ambulance services is typically done by smaller communities that don’t have the demand to support a full-time ambulance crew, which can be expensive—a tricked-out ambulance alone costs over $150,000. Combining with another nearby community generates economies of scale. 

Author(s): Ike Brannon

Publication Date: 28 February 2021

Publication Site: Forbes