Since You Asked: Why doesn't air ambulance transport to Rideout?
Q: I've noticed Life-Flight helicopters taking Yuba-Sutter residents to Roseville, Sacramento and Chico hospitals for emergency care. Why not take emergency patients to our local emergency-care facility at Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville, which is much closer and would save time and money? Does this have to do with the quality of care offered at Rideout?
A: Patients are almost always taken to the closest hospital possible, according to administrators at Rideout Memorial Hospital.
"There are certain jurisdictional boundaries for each hospital, and the ambulance crews transport the patient based on those boundaries," Administrator Chance White said. "They work off those established protocols."
Bi-County Ambulance Services Inc., could not provide the exact jurisdictional boundaries when contacted late last week.
However, in general, White said, if a person is hurt in the area of Live Oak, they're going to Chico. If the injury occurs south of Olivehurst, they're going to Sutter Memorial in Sacramento or Roseville and, if the injury is not life-threatening, the patient has the choice of hospitals.
The only exceptions to the rule of geography occur when the treatment needed is not provided at Rideout Memorial.
There are only a few services not offered at Rideout Memorial Hospital these days, but, for example, child trauma is one of the services not offered at the Marysville hospital, White said.
"Pediatric trauma is simply not our specialty," White said.
Those cases are taken to Sutter Memorial or the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento.
Q: My question is regarding the new ambulance company that I have been seeing around town, Norcal Ambulance. I have noticed that I have never seen that particular ambulance respond with lights and sirens. Is this ambulance service an addition to the city contract with Bi-County? Or just for private contract?
A: Continuing with our Rideout-themed questions this week, yes, Norcal Ambulance has a private contract for non-emergency patient transfers only.
"They usually take patients to and from the hospital and nursing homes," said Chance White, administrator at Rideout Memorial Hospital.
Bi-County Ambulance Services has an exclusive contract in Yuba and Sutter counties for emergency services. They're the ones you're pulling over to let pass on the road.
You won't see Norcal Ambulance speed through red lights or race trauma victims to the emergency room. That's not what they do in Yuba and Sutter counties, White said.
The Dublin-based hospital wagon company began working with Rideout about eight months ago, White said.
Norcal Ambulance also has contracts in Sacramento, Oakland, Fremont and San Rafael.
Since You Asked is published on Mondays. Send questions to reporter Rob Parsons at the Appeal-Democrat, 1530 Ellis Lake Drive, Marysville, CA 95901, email him at rparsons@ appealdemocrat.com or call 749-4785.