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Ballot Measure 6C seems likely to pass, possible new EMS for Penrose

Ballot Measure 6C asks for $1,655,946 in property taxes
Penrose residents say AMR has been servicing their area as much as possible, but usually have to come from Canon City
Posted at 9:13 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 01:31:40-04

PENROSE — For people in Penrose a new ambulance may be on the way. As of Tuesday night it looks as if Ballot Measure Florence Fire Dist. 6C will pass.

6C proposes a 10 Mill Levy increase on the already existing property tax for the Florence Fire Protection District to purchase two ambulances and hire full-time EMTs.

Unofficial results as of 10:28 p.m. with 70% of precincts reporting

Florence Fire Dist. 6C Mill LevyVotesPercentage

This comes after Penrose suspended volunteer emergency medical services on July 4, after losing more and more volunteers over the years.

"There will be a case when the ambulance does not show up for a serious accident," said Richard Hilderbrand, one concerned citizen in Penrose, "First they were very tired. Secondly, if a person is responding to too many calls, then it becomes a liability to them."

When the services stopped, Hilderbrand took the initiative to get Ballot Measure 6C on the upcoming election in Fremont County.

Falcon's Fire Protection District passed a roughly 6 Mill Levy increase several years back with similar intentions.

"This area is growing just like everywhere along the front range, we found that our response times and the need for our own guaranteed ambulance transport service within the district boundaries was something that the Board wanted to do to enhance the service we were providing to our customers," said Trent Harwig, Fire Chief for the Falcon Fire Protection District.

Since passing the Mill Levy, Harwig says their response times in all districts have decreased.

Chart comparing response times in Falcon's Fire Protect District before and after their Mill Levy increase passed.

"Our crew's morale has gone up since the ambulance service has gone in and the protection to the community has gone up," said Harwig.

Hilderbrand says he has heard concerns from community members that the tax will cost.

He estimates that a home with a market value of $200,000 will require a tax increase of about $140.00 per year.

"My concern is that many of the people that need the ambulance the most are the ones who can't afford it, and those are the seniors that are on fixed income," said Hilderbrand.

No word yet on when the new ambulances will come to Penrose.