Lake Tahoe Ambulance will get competition |

Lake Tahoe Ambulance will get competition

Lauren Theodore

Lake Tahoe Ambulance, Inc. soon may not be the only emergency medical service provider on South Shore.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors passed a motion 4-0 Tuesday – with First District Supervisor Sam Bradley absent – to open the bidding process for ambulance service to South Lake Tahoe.

Since January 1981 Lake Tahoe Ambulance has been the sole provider to the area. Chief Executive Officer Charles Staib was upset with the board’s recent decision. “I’m actually shocked and disappointed at the cavalier manner of the board,” Staib said.

Fifth District Supervisor Dave Solaro said the vote was based on “providing quality service at the lowest price,” to the community. Solaro told Staib if LTA fits the criteria it would receive the bid.

“If it was based on dollars and cents I’d agree with you, but it’s based on political agendas,” Staib responded, adding that his company is being treated unfairly and he wants equal treatment under the law.

LTA’s contract expired in January 1999. It was extended until the El Dorado County’s legal counsel reviews a new Emergency Medical Service plan and presents it to the state for approval. After it’s approved, Lake Valley Fire Department Chief John Ceko wants the opportunity for his department to bid. He thinks Lake Valley Fire can provide better services to the Tahoe Basin.

“I’ve dealt with LTA for long enough to know what a quality service provider is, and I haven’t seen it,” Ceko said.

According to Ceko, Lake Valley has paramedics who are trained to deal with many different emergency situations.

Ambulance service is provided by fire departments in Tahoma, Meeks Bay, and Homewood, which are served by the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District. In Nevada, the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Department serves as the primary ambulance provider.

In other business, at press time the board made a decision on the amended Naturally Occurring Asbestos and Dust Protection Ordinance.

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