City moves forward with ALS ambulance

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council has decided to move forward with a proposal to upgrade the ambulance service in the community to Advanced Life Support (ALS) status.

The city will continue working on upgrading from the Basic Life Support (BLS) service offered by the New Prague Ambulance Service, and at the same time will negotiate with Queen of Peace Hospital in New Prague and North Memorial Ambulance Service, which is affiliated with North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, to provide the ALS service.

The city had discussed the change in early 2008, then renewed the talks last month. At the council's November 23 meeting representatives from Queen of Peace Hospital, North Memorial Ambulance, the city's Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and others voiced opinions on the proposal.

City Administrator Mike Johnson explained he also met with representatives from Allina Medical Transportation that serves areas to the north and northeast of New Prague.

Johnson said there were three choices for the council:

• Choose not to upgrade to ALS, end discussions and continue with BLS.

• Continue negotiations with Queen of Peace Hospital and North Memorial Ambulance.

• The city could decide to bid out the proposal, although it is not legally required to do so. Bids could come from North Memorial, Allina, Ridgeview or other ambulance services. The process would require a committee and likely take six to eight months to develop bidding information, evaluate proposals, interview services and make a final recommendation.

Johnson noted he has worked through the process before when he was city administrator for Marshall and it upgraded to ALS.

His opinion was Queen of Peace was already in the community and had an existing partnership with North Memorial. It seemed appropriate to draw on that.

Council member Kristin Guerrette agreed. She said it was important the council recognize the relationship between Queen of Peace and North Memorial. I think we should start with that option

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