County supervisors: EMS, Air Service, Caltrans

Our elected officials sit down in Inyo and Mono County courthouses Tuesday. Inyo Supervisors will face emergency symonsambulancemedical concerns from Bishop. Mono Supervisors will hear a pitch for sharing an air service subsidy, and they will go behind closed doors to talk about a potential legal problem with Caltrans over Conway Ranch.

First Inyo. Last week, Bishop City Administrator Jim Southworth sent a letter to Inyo County Administrator Kevin Carunchio. Southworth spelled out the concerns Bishop has had over the loss of a second ambulance and the Fire Department’s extra work to make sure people are helped.

Southworth’s letter points to the March 2010 announcement by Symons ambulance, which is technically the county’s EMS provider, that they would discontinue the second out ambulance. Judd Symons had pointed to a loss of medicare funding. Southworth says that a second ambulance did go out on occasion but needed a driver from the fire department.

Administrator Southworth points out that “It was apparent that the level of EMS service in this area had fallen below requirements set forth in the ‘Agreement for the Provision of Emergency Ambulance Service’ for the Bishop area between the County and service provider.” Southworth goes on to say that on advice of legal counsel, the City and Fire Protection District determined they can no longer provided EMS drivers and are not required to do so.

The City of Bishop letter points to the County’s responsibility to provide EMS ambulance services and to the fact that Bishop and the fire department do not want to assume these County duties. The letter also says this whole matter has created concerns about the level of emergency medical service in Bishop. More on this Tuesday.

On to Mono County. Supervisors will go into closed sessions early on in their meeting. One of the items is described as having “significant exposure to litigation.” The situation has to do with Caltrans’ allegations of what the agenda calls “noncompliance with grant conditions applicable to Conway Ranch.”

Some sources say a Caltrans bureaucrat took issue with some of the structures or facilities associated with fish rearing at Conway Ranch, which has been a developed area for many years.

Back in open session, Mammoth Mountain’s Marketing Chief Howard Picket will talk to the Supervisors about sharing an air service subsidy for summer and fall at Mammoth Airport. Pickett made this same presentation to the Mammoth Town Council. The entire subsidy adds up to around $644,000. If shared by the Town of Mammoth, the Ski Area and the County, each would pay around $215,000.

Joining Pickett on this item will be Mammoth Lakes Tourism Director John Urdi and Mammoth Airport And Transportation Director Bill Manning.

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