Aspen Ambulance District temporarily moving to North 40
The Aspen Times
The Aspen Ambulance District will have a new home for the next seven months, beginning as early as next week.
Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock was informed in late January that the next phase of construction at Aspen Valley Hospital would impact the ambulance-barn property that the county leases from the hospital.
The construction, scheduled for April through October, would cut off utilities and the physical access at the ambulance barn. The county looked at several options and chose to relocate the ambulance facilities temporarily to the North 40 Fire Station during the construction.
An emergency resolution was brought forward Wednesday at the regular commissioners meeting to provide a temporary lease between the ambulance district and the Aspen Fire Protection District. The Pitkin Board of County Commissioners approved the emergency resolution unanimously.
The ambulance district agreed to pay a flat monthly fee of $2,000 for facility maintenance as well as 50 percent of the facility operating expenses and seasonal expenses, such as snow removal.
“Any incremental costs that are incurred by the ambulance district over and above what would be normal facility costs will actually be born by the hospital,” Peacock said, adding that the facility cost will be approximately $20,000 to $22,000.
The North 40 facility has moved some of its equipment to other facilities already to make room for the four ambulances that will be housed there. Accommodations also were made for the ambulance drivers to stay at the facility.
“This is one agency helping another out,” said Rick Balentine, the CEO and fire chief for the Aspen Fire Protection District. “They have a need right now, and we’re happy to do what we can.”
Gabriel Muething, the operations manager for the Aspen Ambulance District, said he expects the ambulance move to occur at the beginning of next week once the temporary information-technology work is done.
“Being at the North 40 does centralize our location and shouldn’t affect our operations at all,” he said. “This is almost a perfect arrangement for us. We really appreciate the fire district for helping us out.”
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Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”