Ambulance Talks on Hold for Second Look

City Council members this week voted against negotiating a contract with Care Ambulance Service Inc. to provide emergency transportation.

After a lengthy debate about whether city staff members made fair and proper evaluations and selections, the council agreed to have an outside consultant reevaluate five competing proposals and report back July 21.

Councilman Bob Zemel, one of the most vocal critics of the selection process, sought unsuccessfully to start the search for an ambulance company from scratch.

City Manager James D. Ruth defended the procedure used, saying it was fair and competitive. He had hired Altmayer Consulting of Pasadena to review how the city conducted the search. The consultant concluded that the city's procedure was not tainted or biased in favor of one company over another.

The city holds an informal agreement with American Medical Response, which ranked third in the search, to provide ambulance service.

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