Ambulance War: Gold Cross recommended over Dixie Ambulance

Maxwell Miller, the attorney acting as the presiding officer during the hearing process between Dixie Ambulance and Gold Cross Ambulance, St. George, Utah, Dec. 3, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A new phase in Southern Utah’s “Ambulance War” has begun with findings put before the Utah Department of Health Tuesday stating Dixie Ambulance is in violation of state law, and recommending that St. George would be better served by Gold Cross Ambulance.

Maxwell Miller, the presiding hearing officer who heard testimony for and against Dixie Ambulance and its challenger, Gold Cross, during the week of Dec. 3, 2012, sent a 66-page document to the Utah Department of Health outlining why he recommends Gold Cross over Dixie Ambulance to serve St. George.

According to Miller’s recommendation: “… The (Utah Bureau of Emergency Services should) grant Gold Cross … applications for Paramedic Rescue and Paramedic Ground ambulance licenses for St. George, Utah, … The current licensed ambulance provider of such services (Dixie Ambulance) (a) is in violation of Utah administrative rules; (b) does not meet industry operating standards governing EMS staffing requirements and ambulance response times; (c) is not financially viable; and (d) is likely unable to continue providing quality ambulance services that St. George deserves and requires in the future.”

The City of St. George has also received the recommendation. Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager, said the mayor and city council are currently reviewing the document. A response will be given after the city council is satisfied with its examination of the document, Mortensen said.

Mac Miller, public information officer for Dixie Ambulance, called the recommendation “a love letter to Gold Cross,” and said Dixie Ambulance could refute every claim the hearing officer’s recommendation made.

An official ruling has yet to be made by BEMS. The Bureau has three options it can take – it can ignore the recommendation, amend it, or approve it “as is.” Once the final decision is made, Dixie Ambulance has 20 days to appeal.

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Copyright St. George News, Inc., 2013, all rights reserved

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  • Fred January 24, 2013 at 12:17 am

    I $eriou$ly wonder why thi$ recommendation wa$ made by the $tate. Could it po$$ibly be that $omeone, maybe Gold Cro$$, i$ $ending $omething the $tate$ way? Oh no, that would never happen in a fine $tate like Utah, and e$pecially in a wonderful untarni$hed city such a$ $t. George. It would never even occur to me that $uch a thing could happen here in Wa$hington County.

  • DoubleTap January 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

    And the Mayor want$ another term? Gee…what would make me think like this? (sarcasm intended).

    • Zeke January 24, 2013 at 11:34 am

      There is still plenty of time to file and run against the Mayor (seriously). I’m sure you could step in and solve all of the the issues you are so concerned about (obvious sarcasm)

  • mater January 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    why cant we use both services? twice as many units on the street reduce response time better for the public that they serve i think its is
    ridiculas for the law / policy makers to say there can be only one

  • Jasmine January 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Simple sh*& here…if Gold Cross is better, than Gold Cross it is for the growing metro area. This is not a game of competition. When peoples lives are involved, it’s not about looking after the local guy!

  • Alvin January 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I haven’t given this battle much thought until I read a quote from the Gold Cross rep. today (1-30-13) He said something like ” Dixie Ambulance lost by a big score and now they want to blame the refs”. I don’t know about you, but that sounds very, very unprofessional to me. This is the guy who is going to head up the new ambulance crew and be in charge of lives in this area. Not good at all.

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