When it comes to the Colorado Springs Fire Department taking over ambulance transport, Mayor Steve Bach apparently already has the support of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has supported similar moves elsewhere. Local 5 president Jeremy Kroto says via e-mail that a fire-based system could "enhance service delivery," and that other options, including the city contracting directly with a company instead of going through the regional Emergency Services Agency, are on the table.
Kroto also speaks to the fear that the city's current ESA partners have about breaking away from a regional approach to transport. With those agencies representing only 15 percent of the 60,000 emergency ambulance calls a year, they're worried about finding a contractor willing to handle the low volume over a wide expanse without a big rate increase.
Kroto says that "fear mongering" by those who worry a change will leave other agencies high and dry "must cease," adding that it's "truly ridiculous" the city would imperil other agencies.
El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark says Bach has mentioned having city firefighters or the city contractor handle calls throughout the county, but that raises the question of who or what agency would monitor contract compliance, such as ensuring that response-time requirements are met.