Inter-Departmental Correspondence

County Manager



June 1, 2009


June 16, 2009







Honorable Board of Supervisors


David S. Boesch, County Manager


Joint Powers Agreement Establishing the San Mateo Pre-Hospital Emergency Services Providers Group



Adopt a resolution authorizing the execution of the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) Establishing the San Mateo Pre-Hospital Emergency Services Providers Group, and authorizing the County Manager to execute, on behalf of the County of San Mateo, any necessary implementing documents and agreements, including but not limited to automatic aid and first response agreements.



Commitment: Ensure basic health and safety for all.

Goal 7: Maintain and enhance the public safety of all residents and visitors.


The JPA will contribute to this commitment and goal by providing comprehensive and coordinated emergency rescue services throughout the County.



Pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 1797.224, the County of San Mateo has an exclusive operating area for a countywide emergency ambulance response that includes all of the County’s jurisdiction with the exception of the City of South San Francisco. On March 10, 2009, the County entered into an agreement with American Medical Response West (“AMR”) to provide emergency ambulance response services. Pursuant to its agreement with the County, AMR has entered into an operating agreement with the “San Mateo Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Providers Group” JPA. Under this operating agreement, the JPA will provide paramedic first responder service throughout the County’s exclusive operating area. At this time, the JPA is made up of the eleven cities and six fire protection districts.



The San Mateo County Fire Department (“County Fire”) provides structural fire protection, basic and advanced life support emergency medical services, and public fire safety education services to those unincorporated areas of San Mateo County that are not served by city fire departments or fire protection districts. County staff has recommended that San Mateo County, through County Fire, become a member of the JPA in order to better facilitate a coordinated and complete network of first responder services and advanced life support throughout the County.


In February 2009, the JPA Board of Directors approved a resolution to amend the Joint Powers Agreement to authorize County Fire to join the JPA as of July 1, 2009. This amendment to the JPA is in the process of being approved by the governing boards of the JPA member agencies. In order for the County to become a member of the JPA, the Board of Supervisors must also adopt a resolution approving the JPA agreement. After the Board has adopted this resolution and the JPA agreement has been approved by at least two-thirds of the existing members, the County will become a member of the JPA.


Upon joining, the County will be obligated to remain a party to the JPA for the entire term of the contract between the County and the Countywide ambulance provider, which will expire on June 30, 2014. The JPA also requires that the Board of Supervisors appoint one representative and one alternate from its members to serve on the Governing Board of the JPA.


The members of the JPA have typically entered into an agreement for the mutual exchange of automatic aid and first response emergency services within their respective jurisdictions. This resolution would delegate authority to the County Manager to execute an automatic aid agreement and any similar implementing document or agreement necessary to implement the purposes of the JPA.



By joining the JPA, the County will receive a share of the payments AMR provides to JPA members for first responder services. In the past, the County Health Department contributed about $200,000 a year to the County Fire budget to cover these costs so joining the JPA will reduce the general fund cost of County Fire service.