Ambulance Contract Renewed

A private firm will continue to provide emergency ambulance service in Glendale under a five-year contract awarded Tuesday. The decision ended months of debate over whether the city should drop the firm and have firefighters operate ambulances.

Glendale City Council voted 3 to 2 to award the contract to Professional Ambulance Service Inc. of Glendale, which has provided emergency service in the city for 10 years.

In the past the city has subsidized Professional by reimbursing it for uncollected bills and false alarms. The subsidy last year was $145,000. But the company, headed by former Glendale Fire Chief Allan R. Stone, now has agreed to absorb those losses.


Several council members had suggested that the city operate its own ambulance service through the Fire Department. But a city study found that it would cost $364,000 to $470,000 a year to use city-employed paramedics.

Despite projections of higher costs to the city, council members Ginger Bremberg and John F. Day voted against the contract, saying they would prefer that ambulances be operated by firefighters.

Professional Ambulance has three emergency vehicles in Glendale, all manned by paramedics.

The firm also has agreed to provide training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation to about 1,800 residents a year. The city will pay the firm $11 for each person trained as part of a continuing effort to teach life-saving techniques to large numbers of residents.