Emergency Transport Services

City of Colorado Springs Rationale and Direction

The administration of the City of Colorado Springs recognizes that the dynamics of health care are rapidly changing. As the ESA Board heard directly from its independently-hired professional consultant, quality emergency health care requires closer relationships between first responders, transport services, and local hospital systems. Currently, 85 percent of emergency transports within the jurisdiction of the ESA originate within the city limits of Colorado Springs. In addition, the Colorado Springs Fire Department is the first responder on 76 percent of emergency 911 calls within the jurisdiction of the ESA. For these reasons, the administration of the City of Colorado Springs believes that in order to best serve emergency health care patients and citizens of the city, any RFP relating to emergency transport services within the City should be controlled, conducted, negotiated, and managed by the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Competitive procurement is the holy grail of government procurement because it results in the best bang for the buck for taxpayers. Many cities, both larger and smaller than Colorado Springs, receive compensation from ambulance providers for the EMT and Paramedic services provided by their fire departments, who frequently arrive first to emergencies. It is really time that Colorado Springs receives such reimbursement and does not remain in the old model where the City is providing hidden subsidies to the provider.

Accordingly, the City will be issuing an RFP for emergency transport services within the city limits. The RFP will be designed to award a contract for emergency transport services beginning April 2014, at the expiration of the current ESA-AMR contract. The RFP could include an alternate option or options that will request proposals not only for the City but for service in the remainder of the ESA area as well. In any event, based on responses to the RFP process, the Colorado Springs Fire Department may recommend to City Council that Council exercise its right to withdraw the city from the ESA by terminating the ESA IGA pursuant to its termination provisions.

The City of Colorado Springs remains dedicated to cooperating with neighboring communities and fire protection districts to ensure that the highest quality emergency transport services and patient care possible is provided throughout El Paso County. As I noted earlier, the City is willing to extend the scope of the City-issued RFP to include provision of emergency transport service to all areas currently served by the ESA. However, City administration does not feel the current structure of the ESA is providing the best level of service to patients and citizens and the City needs the ability to directly manage any contract for emergency transport services to insure better service. Should the neighboring communities and the ESA Board choose not to be included in the City-issued RFP, the City will continue to communicate closely and cooperate with our neighbors to ensure the absolute highest quality of emergency transport services is available to all of El Paso County.