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Manitou Springs investing in ambulance service for faster response times

Posted at 6:38 PM, Feb 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-10 20:38:09-05

MANITOU SPRINGS — Manitou Springs is ending ambulance service provided by a third-party contractor and will now handle it internally through the fire department.

Medically trained firefighters in manitou springs promise emergency department-type care with the new ambulance service that is starting in the city.

“What happens in your emergency department, the IVs, the medication delivery, shocks, pacing, we’re able to do in the back of this box,” said Manitou Springs Deputy Fire Chief, Keith Buckmiller.

The service brings two new ambulances, three paramedics, and three EMTs.

They administer medical attention to patients en route.

“We're giving them state-of-the-art care,” said Buckmiller.

“Equipment, supplies, and preparation to do something this significant— that cost about $600,000,” said Manitou Springs Fire Chief John Forsett.

It is a significant investment for a small city.

“I think our city leadership has done a really good job of managing their budget, which allowed us the opportunity to do this,” said Forsett.

Some of the cost will be offset by billing that is typical with ambulance service.

One of the main reasons for switching from an ambulance contractor to an in-house service is response time.

The response time expectation with the contractor was around 18 minutes.

Handling it internally should shave more than ten minutes off that time.

“With our current response times,” said Forsett, “we're already meeting those goals in less than five and a half minutes.”

The new Manitou Springs ambulance service starts Sunday.

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