Since 2019, local hospitals have expressed concerns about understaffing at the Sacramento County Emergency Medical Services Agency (SCEMSA). Operating with between one-third and one-half of the staffing of comparable local emergency medical services agencies in Northern California, SCEMSA is simply not able to fully perform its responsibilities for oversight of emergency medical services (EMS) providers, data analytics, and quality improvement. While the state has recently mandated the creation of new programs for stroke and ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction heart attacks, the agency does not have the personnel to run the programs effectively.
In response to these concerns, in 2019 the county formed an Emergency Medical Advisory Group, comprised of senior hospital and EMS leaders, to assess and address budgetary and staffing shortfalls. On Feb. 9, RVP Brian Jensen presented the findings of the EMAG to the Board of Supervisors. A robust conversation followed. Several supervisors expressed new awareness about the importance of SCEMSA’s mission, particularly during the pandemic. The staff has prepared a proposal to increase staffing by multiple full-time employees. This will now be part of the county’s budget process for 2021-22.