Ressler: Ambulance District needs support |

Ressler: Ambulance District needs support

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

The Aspen Ambulance District provides essential emergency services to the Aspen community, and it is facing a critical vote in the November election.

AAD was established by Pitkin County in 1982 as a special taxing district supported by a property tax mill levy.

Aspen Valley Hospital is proud to be the operator of the local ambulance services through a management contract with the county for four decades since the district’s creation.

The Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners is AAD’s governing board, and Pitkin County maintains the ambulance facility adjacent to the hospital campus and all the emergency vehicles, as well. 

The hospital’s emergency medical services professionals, our paramedics and EMTs work arm in arm with our hospital physicians and staff to provide the highest quality medical care. Our paramedics and EMTs are extensively trained to handle rescue situations in the wilderness, swift water and high angles; they partner closely with the Aspen Fire Protection District, Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority, Mountain Rescue Aspen, Aspen Police Department and Pitkin County Sherriff’s Office.

AAD is mostly funded by a combination of collections on its patient services, which are limited by insurance companies, and a mill levy.

As our community has grown and the demand for emergency services has increased, the current mill levy is falling short of funding the combination of two crews and equipment that are required to respond to emergencies on a 24/7 basis. The district’s ability to continue to provide the high level of emergency response our community has come to expect — that our community deserves — is in need of long-term, sustainable funding.

This is why the AAD Board, who are our Pitkin County commissioners, has included the necessary increase on the November ballot, Question 6A.

Dave Ressler