Comments Sought on Proposed Emergency Services Consolodation

[From a press release dated June 13, 2011]

The Burning Mountains Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Rural Fire Protection District, the City of Glenwood Springs, and the Rifle Fire Protection District have begun explorations of opportunities to improve efficiencies through shared and cooperative services.

As a result of the decision that WestCare Ambulance no longer provide ambulance services, the Burning Mountains Fire Protection District agreed to begin providing 911 ambulance services to the Silt / New Castle areas beginning June 1, 2010. The planning and preparation associated with the providing of 911 ambulance services resulted in conversations between Glenwood Springs, Burning Mountains, and Rifle Fire Departments as how to best provide services to the respective areas with available resources and to attempt to minimize duplicative efforts by working closer together in preparedness, planning, and the providing of essential services.

In February of 2011, the elected officials of the respective jurisdiction adopted eight goals to remain focused on the intent of the efforts of the organizations. While not in any specific order, those adopted goals are as follows:

  • To improve services to our customers
  • To provide consistent services, and consistent service levels throughout the response area.
  • To identify programs and areas for cost savings, cost sharing, and cost avoidance to our taxpayers.
  • To provide for job security, safety and well being of our volunteer, part time, and career staff.
  • To ensure the long term sustainability of joint / shared services programs developed and implemented.
  • To establish a shared and consistent “outcome based” decision making at all levels of the organization (s).
  • To expand on the utilization of shared/cooperative services for service enhancements, emergency response system “depth”, shared preparedness costs, proactive resource management and deployment, and cost efficiencies.
  • To remain open, honest and transparent to our constituents, community peers/partners, customers and staff
  • Overall, the intent of the efforts are to reduce duplicative efforts provided by the three Fire Departments in the areas of training, administration, prevention, and response. In addition, a “new” automatic aid agreement is designed to send the closest available responders to an emergency based upon location, not on what political subdivision in which the incident occurs. These efforts will assist in reducing response times as well as in some cases the reduction of insurance costs to customers.

    A third party consulting firm, Emergency Services Consulting international, has been hired to evaluate shared and cooperative service opportunities between the agencies. In the process of their research, ESCi will facilitate three community public input meetings to gather information from members of the general public and local community citizenry. Public comments, feedback, and question / answer sessions will be facilitated at these meetings. The community meetings are tentatively scheduled for the week of August 8th. Specific dates, times, and locations will be announced in the near future.

    For more information contact Connie Guerette 625-1243, Myia Lackey 876-5738, or Erin Williams 384-6436.