Council Connect Articles

Addressing Inmate Emergency Department Transport Protocols


  • Sacramento Fire Department (SFD) 
  • Sacramento County Jail Health 
  • Sacramento County Emergency Medical Services Agency (SCEMSA)  


At a meeting convened by Hospital Council on March 20, SFD shared concerns about communication and protocols on when the county jail uses emergency medical services (EMS) providers to transport inmates to community hospitals. In 2023, SFD transported over 660 inmates to hospitals, though hospital staff determined many did not need hospital-level care.

Takeaway/Next Steps

As a result of the meeting, SCEMSA will convene EMS, hospital, and county jail health leaders to develop criteria for 911 jail transport calls. The goal is to reduce unnecessary EMS and emergency department impacts and improve ambulance patient offload times (APOT). This is an example of an APOT delay outside of hospital control, as well as an example of multiple stakeholders collaborating to resolve such problems.


RVP Brian Jensen at