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Rural/Metro San Diego offering double-time pay and signing bonuses to increase staffing

Increase in unit hours comes after a $230,000 fine last week for failing to meet required response times

SAN DIEGO — Rural/Metro San Diego is working on improving their response times after the company was fined $230,000 by the city for failing to meet the requirements.

The company plans to offer double-time pay to current employees and to pay a $3,000 signing bonus to new ones The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The company’s goal is to add 800-plus unit hours per week, or 5,453 hours, so more medics will be available to respond to calls.

“We understand the importance of meeting response-time requirements and are sparing no expense to rectify the situation with the utmost urgency,” Regional Director Wayne Johnson said.

Councilman David Alvarez said it might be time for the city to find a new EMS provider.

“No one that calls 911 with a medical emergency should be kept waiting because ambulances are late,” Alvarez said. “Lives are at risk, and a ‘wait-and-see’ approach is not enough. Given the failures, the city should be prepared to cancel this contract.”