After months of no communication and $13,000 due to the City of Bishop for dispatch service, Judd Symons of Symons Ambulance finally sat down with City officials, who were pleased to report than an agreement is very near and that ambulance service and dispatching will continue uninterrupted. A press release issued by the City explains the current circumstances:
“Representatives of the City of Bishop recently meet with Judd Symons of Symons Ambulance to discuss the on-going issues surrounding Dispatch Services currently provided under contract. As has been previously reported, Symons had fallen behind in payments and had not been timely in responding to communication requests regarding the issue. This left the City in a position to consider terminating service.
“Fortunately at today’s meeting, the City and Symons were able to come to a tentative agreement. The terms of the agreement include the City continuing to provide Dispatch Service at a reduced amount and Symons agreeing to pay any amount currently owed to the City through the end of 2013. During the meeting, Judd Symons was open, honest, and forthright about the issues that Symons has had to deal with in recent months. In addition, he offered his sincere apologies to the City that this contract issue had not been properly addressed earlier.
“’We’re very pleased at the progress made today and look forward to our continued partnership with Symons Ambulance. Both Symons and the City of Bishop remain committed to providing the best level of service we can.” -Keith Caldwell, City Administrator.
“The City had previously provided Dispatch service to Symons for many years at no cost and without any kind of formal agreement in place. When Chief Carter assumed command of the Police Department, he examined all agreements and contracts in place at that time. Chief Carter realized there was no formal agreement between Symons and the City of Bishop that addressed the Dispatch service and any associated costs or liabilities. Chief Carter was concerned about any liability the City might incur as a result of the Police Department providing service to Symons. Chief Carter was also concerned about issues regarding tax dollars being used to fund or support a private company. Thus in 2012, the City and Symons entered into a written contract which addressed the issues of liability and cost. The contract was never intended to be a revenue generator but rather a written document which spelled out details of liability and coverage in necessary expenses.
“The details of the new agreement will be further discussed and vetted and it is our sincere hope that we will have an agreement to present to Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting on January 13, 2014. ” (Press Release, City of Bishop)