Rural/Metro took over Santa Clara County’s ambulance contract last July, and by most accounts the company has done a good job. The company submitted a low bid to replace American Medical Response, and county Supervisors George Shirakawa, Mike Wasserman and Dave Cortese championed Rural/Metro as a low-cost yet responsible replacement. Aside from a rough transition in the first month on the job, response times have been above the required threshold in most cases. However, what isn’t found in the monthly reports that Rural/Metro is required to submit to the county is the number of patient records the company lost in its first two months on the job. According to company spokesman Michael Simonsen, Rural/Metro lost 117 Patient Care Records (PCRs) in July 2011 and another 25 in August. The company says the lost reports were caused by faulty technology—smart phones and tablets that didn’t upload the information properly—but even more disturbing might be the fact that the company had no idea how many reports were lost until Fly asked Rural/Metro last month. Seriously—a year went by, and the company had no interest in finding out how bad of a problem it had on its hands until word leaked. Even more disturbing is that Rural/Metro may have misled county officials about the severity of the problem. Michael Petrie, the county Emergency Medical Services director, told Fly last month, “We believe we still have the data.” This, of course, was not true. Maybe even more troubling, though, is that EMTs whose reports were lost in the matrix were told by their supervisors to re-create reports based off of memory and hospital records. Rural/Metro says 20-30 reports, which are also used to bill patients, were re-created in this fashion.