Ignoring Public Input & Playing Politics with Public Safety

As many of you know, despite almost unanimous overwhelming opposition, the University City Council Clique ignored the voices of its citizens and voted to cut staffing qualifications and outsource our ambulance service to a private, for-profit company: Gateway Ambulance.  The council clique didn’t ask a single question about the consequences of outsourcing, they simply sat silent, and as one citizen said, they railroaded it through.  In the time since, the administration has been less than forthcoming about the consequences of outsourcing:

  • Staffing qualifications have been cut from 2 paramedics per ambulance to 1 paramedic with Gateway.
  • Gateway charges 32% more for an Advanced Life Support Transport – we’re paying much more for a lesser service.
  • Ambulance Mutual Aid from surrounding communities has ended.
  • The six ambulances available from Ladue, Clayton, Richmond Heights, Olivette, and Brentwood – all within about 2 miles from our borders will no longer be coming.
  • Back-up ambulances will have to come from Gateway.  One is stationed in Forest Park when not on call, another at I-170 and St. Charles Rock Road.
  • We have no idea about the location or availability of other Gateway Ambulances.
  • Backup Gateway Ambulances cannot communicate with UCity Dispatch – calls must be transfered and relayed between Gateway Dispatch and UCity.
  • Backup Gateway Ambulances cannot communicate with other UCity emergency personnel.
  • Since the outsourcing, daily Fire Department Staffing has been cut to 7 line firefighters from 10, a 30% reduction of our firefighting capabilities.
  • University City has loaned tax payer funded radios to Gateway Ambulance to subsidize their operation.
  • The St. Louis County Emergency Communications Commission has informed the UCity that they are violating their user agreement by transferring the radios to another agency.

What can we do?

UCityUnited has numerous meetings and two town hall meetings and brought out hundreds of citizens.  The message is clear: our elected officials have lost the public trust.  As citizens, the charter gives us just one remedy: Recall.  Dozens of citizens are already well on their way to collecting the necessary signatures for the recall of 1st Ward Councilman Stephen Kraft.  Other recall petitions are being prepared.  Nearly sixty volunteers have already signed up gather signatures and we’d like you to join us!