Emergency medical services in Ada County to join together

ADA COUNTY -- Seven agencies currently provide emergency medical services in Ada County. However, some of those agencies said this can delays at a scene, but there are plans to change that.

The Meridian Fire Chief, Boise Fire Chief and Director of Ada County Paramedics are getting together to join all the emergency medical services providers in Ada County. This would allow them to share resources, and create common practices. It is something they said is a long time coming.

Ada County groups are coming on board for a new way to run emergency medical services across the county. This would create a joint powers board, with an elected official representing each of the seven EMS providers.

This whole agreement is about government working together rather than being in silos, delivering EMS for Meridian or Ada County Paramedics or Boise fire. We're going to create a joint deployment model, and it's about creating efficiency's. And really this is about how we can deliver EMS better, faster, and cheaper, said Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan.

The fire departments (or fire districts) from Eagle, Star, Kuna, Boise, and Meridian, along with the Ada County Paramedics and North Ada County Fire and Rescue will all be members. They will also have a medical directorate with two board appointed physicians.

This is a way that we can really get rid of the boundaries and we can push in all of our equipment, both our fixed and mobile assets, and we can create a plan to respond to all EMS emergencies together, said Doan.

All member agencies will have equal power because the joint powers board will require a unanimous vote on any decisions.

When we've developed a model that everyone can sign off on, then we've achieved what we've set out to do. So will it be slower? It will. But at the end of the day, we'll get exactly the right answer and it's worth waiting for, said Director of the Ada County Paramedics Darby Weston .

They hope this will streamline EMS response when seconds matter.

Under this new joint powers agreement by being under the same standing written order, the same medical direction, the same standard operating procedures, we're going to take away any of that clunkiness and really run an efficient scene to maximize patient care, said Meridian Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer.

Doan, Niemeyer and Weston said even once everyone is signed on, there won't be any big changes for the public right away. Changes will take place over time. They said they still have several stakeholder groups to talk with about the plan, including the City of Boise.


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