I attended the ambulance hearing at the board of supervisors meeting on Dec. 12, and found the presentation and remarks by our Public Health Director Kathleen Grassi and EMS Director Jim Andrews quite disturbing. Grassi spent a large part of the county presentation defending the bidding process as "fair and impartial" and that it was put together with expert assistance and vetted at the state level. If that's all true, than why did both AMR and Riggs Ambulance request that the process be thrown out? Why did the state get involved after the county sent a letter of intent to negotiate with Riggs? What changed about this "fair and impartial process" that was already completed?
Here's the really disturbing part. Three of the five "experts" chosen by our EMS agency to award the bid chose Riggs. But now the county EMS agency has reversed that position, Grassi and Andrews practically fell over each other extolling the virtues of AMR during the rest of their presentation.
Let's do the right thing and give all providers an opportunity to bid in a "transparent, fair and impartial process." The county has the legal right to start over. Do it.
DANIEL SMITH Merced