We were disappointed to hear that Lower Cape Ambulance (LCAA) has decided to cease operations at the end of August as we had been negotiating with them in good faith, were fully transparent in our hiring plans, and have been requesting an updated contract for several months. We were hopeful that we would continue our partnership with them for at least a few more years, and were a bit taken aback by the news since the possibility of LCAA ceasing operations so soon was never communicated to the Town.
While we were not notified directly by LCAA of their decision to cease operations until Friday, August 4 at 3:15 p.m., the Town already has plans in the works to quickly onboard additional staff and bring ambulance billing in-house to begin capturing revenue immediately.
Provincetown has already onboarded 8 new full-time hires that started with the Town on July 1, and we plan to use the funding originally appropriated for the LCAA contract in the FY24 budget toward hiring additional personnel in the coming weeks. There were several other qualified candidates who applied and were interviewed in our last round of hiring, and we’re confident we can move expeditiously to bring more staff on board.
At this time, we do not anticipate needing an additional ask of Town Meeting voters at this Fall’s Special Town Meeting as Provincetown is in a much stronger position than we were a year ago when faced with a similar possibility of LCAA ceasing to provide services.
We have and continue to explore options with other ambulance providers to supplement our coverage on a short-term basis through Halloween, should that be necessary. However, even when LCAA was unable to maintain the agreed upon staffing for their shifts in July and August, Provincetown and our mutual aid partners have been able to provide the necessary coverage throughout the summer months.
I want to thank LCAA, their employees, and their Board for their years of service to the Provincetown and Truro communities.
I also want to thank our Fire Chief, EMS Coordinator, our Fire/EMS staff, and all of our on-call volunteers for their dedication to this community and their willingness to always step up to ensure the safety of all who live, work, and visit Provincetown.
At its next meeting on Monday, August 14, I will be providing the Provincetown Select Board with a more detailed update and look forward to a discussion about our Fire/EMS plans moving forward.
Alex B. Morse