Summit County government strips ambulance provider of transport rights

This is only if it's not a life-threatening situation. This follows a year-long fight inside the county.

KUSA - Summit County commissioners are barring the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District (RWB) in Breckenridge from transporting patients to the hospital - if it's not a life-threatening situation

The Board of County Commissioners voted to strip the fire district of its transport rights on Tuesday. It follows a years-long battle between the county and Red, White, and Blue over several issues, but primarily, out-of-county transports, or OCTs.

The county partnered up with Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District, Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and Copper Mountain fire.

It says all of its partners providing emergency service need to share the responsibility of taking patients to front-range hospitals when necessary.

"We feel strongly that all the partners need to participate in that equal rotation of out-of-county transports and Red, White, Blue is not agreeable to that," said Sarah Vaines, the assistant county manager for Summit County.

Red, White and Blue Fire District Chief James Keating argues doing out-of-county transports puts a strain on his department.

"If we went into out-of-county rotations, we're taking two employees out of district - anywhere from two to four hours depending on traffic, season and road conditions," said Keating.

Board members ultimately decided to end its partnership with RWB.

To compensate, the county-run ambulance service will likely move one of its units from Frisco to the Breckenridge area.

Vaines said they will also ensure any vacancies they have are filled to help manage the extra workload.

The county still has partnerships with Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue and Copper Mountain Fire. They will be providing ambulance service in that area.

RWB and Summit County officials both say they are up for negotiations in an effort to restore their partnership. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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