Analisa Romano
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November 14, 2013
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Southeast Weld, Hudson fire districts drop ambulance contracts with Banner

The Southeast Weld County and Hudson Fire Protection districts will drop their contracts with Banner for ambulance services next year, opting for a new contract with Platte Valley Ambulance Service that should improve response times, fire officials say.

The new agreement, which begins Jan. 1, will place an ambulance at a Southeast Weld County fire station in Keenesburg — a move that should improve response times along the Interstate 76 corridor, said Tom Beach, fire chief for Southeast Weld Fire.

He said Weld County’s agreement with Banner Health placed the nearest ambulance in Fort Lupton, which kept response times for an emergency at a minimum of 20 minutes. Beach said the Fort Lupton ambulance is sometimes out on a call, which puts the next closest ambulance out of Gilcrest.

The two fire districts, which together serve well more than 10,000 residents, have also been receiving a higher volume of calls.

Beach said the two districts decided to go with a different ambulance service after requesting a paramedic who would live, train and work alongside the firefighters, which Banner said it could not provide. He said that practice is more common along the East Coast, and it helps improve efficiency.

The paramedic will be from Platte Valley, but the fire districts will provide their own ambulance, EMTs and equipment. Residents will notice the new ambulance will be white with a green stripe. A backup ambulance will be based out of Southeast Weld County’s fire station 2, in case the main ambulance breaks down, but will not be staffed, Beach said.

If the Keenesburg ambulance is out on a call, then a Platte Valley ambulance, which is based out of Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton, will respond. Mutual aid agreements are also in place with Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District, Morgan County Ambulance, Bennett Fire Protection District, and Banner/NCMC Paramedic Services.

Platte Valley and the Hudson and Southeast Weld fire departments have all already been licensed by the county, so the transition should be smooth, Beach said. He said the districts won’t have to change their mill levies to afford the new contract, so residents should notice no other change.

“It’s pretty much a win-win for them,” Beach said.


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My Windsor Now Updated Nov 15, 2013 11:17AM Published Nov 16, 2013 12:58AM Copyright 2013 My Windsor Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.