PENROSE — On Thursday, the Penrose Volunteer Fire Department made an announcement on Facebook saying Penrose EMS services will be suspended starting July 4th.
The department says low staffing is the reason behind the decision to stop the service from the non-profit volunteer force.
In the post, they say that reasons for low staffing include: a decline in volunteers nationwide, the increase in call volume, and the addition to the federal and state standards.
According to the statement, standards have increased the demands on providers to receive and maintain the appropriate certifications to provide medical services, something that is especially difficult on a volunteer organization.
"In recent past the volunteer support has been marginal but we were able to continue services. With the decline in staffing and recent unexpected losses the number of personnel are no longer adequate to continue service to the community," the department wrote.
The residential area of Penrose and surrounding areas will be impacted by the decision.
Florence Fire Protection District, which oversees a 249-square mile area in Fremont County, only covers fire protection as part of their service plan, leaving the ambulance services to volunteer organizations, like Penrose EMS. The organization is a non-profit and is not funded by tax dollars.
AMR in Canon City and the Florence Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide services based on mutual aide requests.
Representatives for the Penrose Volunteer Fire Department and the Florence Fire Protection District declined News5 requests for interviews.
Now the work begins to look for ways to restore the EMS service to the community in the future. The department is asking for help, saying that if anyone knows someone with EMT certification or higher who is willing to volunteer to please contact them.
This is a developing story.