PENROSE — On June 10, the Penrose Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook that Penrose EMS services will be suspended starting July 4.
On Monday, July 12, the Florence Fire Protection District announced a plan for a mill levy increase at a community meeting. "A bit of an uphill challenge. However, if the community wants to have EMS, then this is the way to do it," said Richard Hilderbrand, who is on the Florence Fire Protection District Board.
NOW: A community meeting proposing a mill levy increase through the Florence Fire District, in order to regain EMS services in #Penrose. Those were suspended on July 4. In this video, an explanation of why a mill levy is being considered, instead of a new district. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/gQqwhOka0Q— Colette Bordelon (@ColetteBordelon) July 13, 2021
The proposal is for a 10 mill levy increase based on the assessed value of a property. The ballot question has yet to be drafted, but if approved by voters, Hilderbrand said the money could start coming in 2022. "My interest is, as a citizen, I'm getting older. I could have a heart attack. I want someone to show up... This to me is a very simple question: we pass a mill levy, and we have EMS next year," said Hilderbrand.
As of Monday, there was no exact amount of money expected to be generated from the mill levy. Hilderbrand said the money would pay for personnel alongside volunteer members.
When Penrose EMS was suspended, there were three staff members working. The coordinator for the volunteer services said he would like to have at least six.
The Florence Fire Protection District covers Penrose, Florence, Coal Creek, Williamsburg, and Rockvale.
People in Penrose can still call 911 if there is an emergency. First responders from Canon City or Florence can make it to Penrose, but it will likely take longer than normal.
Penrose EMS suspending ambulance service after July 4