AB 389 Provides California Counties And Fire Agencies New Contracting Options And Opportunities For Emergency Ambulance Services

On October 4, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 389 (“AB 389”), the first amendment to California’s Prehospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act (“EMS Act”) specifically addressing emergency ambulance service contracting. The new law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2022, represents a significant departure from existing practice and creates new contracting options and opportunities for California counties and fire agencies.

Among other things, AB 389:

  • Approves the “Alliance” model of emergency ambulance services delivery by authorizing counties to contract with fire agencies that will provide emergency ambulance services, in whole or in part, through written subcontracts with private providers.
  • Obligates county boards of supervisors to adopt new policies for all emergency ambulance service contracts entered or renewed by the county on or after January 1, 2022.
  • Obligates fire agency governing bodies to adopt new policies if they want to contract with counties to provide emergency ambulance services through an Alliance model on or after January 1, 2022.
  • Mandates certain requirements for county emergency ambulance service contracts as well as fire agencies and potential private ambulance service subcontractors operating in an Alliance model.
  • Specifies that AB 389’s new requirements are within the exclusive jurisdiction of county boards of supervisors and fire agency governing bodies.

You can download a detailed legal alert discussing AB 389’s provisions and potential contracting options and opportunities for California counties and fire agencies here.

Fire service agencies and other public sector entities seeking advice regarding AB 389, the EMS Act, or other emergency ambulance and EMS-related matters, should contact Andrew Schouten in Wright, L’Estrange & Ergastolo’s Administrative Law & Regulatory Disputes practice group.

Wright, L’Estrange & Ergastolo legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect any laws, subjects, or information shared. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this legal alert.