News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: September 25, 2018

ESCI Presents Analysis of Local Emergency Medical Services

Photo of an ambulance in front of a ski area.

Report offers options for future delivery of EMS by Summit County and local fire districts

Scott Vargo, Summit County Manager: 970-453-3404
Jeff Berino, Chief, Summit Fire & EMS: 970-262-5100, ext. 121
Jim Keating, Chief, Red, White & Blue Fire Rescue: 970-389-9600

SUMMIT COUNTY – Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI) presented a report on Tuesday outlining its analysis and recommendations for the delivery of emergency medical services in Summit County. The analysis and report development were conducted over a nine-month period to identify potential options for ambulance services in the community, currently provided by Summit County, Summit Fire & EMS and Red, White & Blue Fire Rescue.

"This is an extensive analysis of the operations, finance, assets and demands of our EMS system," Summit County Manager Scott Vargo said. "It provides valuable insights that we'll use to start a fresh dialogue with our partners as we define the future of ambulance services in Summit County and ensure financial efficiencies while maintaining a high level of patient care."

Summit County, in partnership with the two fire districts, contracted ESCI to perform the independent third-party analysis in December 2017. The company has reviewed all aspects of the community's delivery of emergency medical services, including operations, administration, staffing, revenues, costs, capital facilities, vehicles, equipment, service delivery, operational performance, interfacility transports and future demand projections.

Six local agencies provided ESCI with datasets related to emergency response. The contractor examined hundreds of records to evaluate current demand for EMS, fire and other emergency services and corresponding resources available in the community.

"We appreciate the hard work ESCI has done to pull all this information together," Summit Fire & EMS Chief Jeff Berino said. "We look forward to the continued collaboration with our partners to develop a sustainable, integrated, high-quality EMS system to serve this community."

From 2015 to 2017, there were 10,254 local EMS calls dispatched and 8,214 patient transports. Two or more incidents occurred simultaneously 62.7 percent of the time; two or more out-of-county transports occurred simultaneously 41.5 percent of the time. The average duration of an out-of-county transport was three hours and 57 minutes.

ESCI laid out potential paths forward for EMS service delivery in Summit County, including possible consolidation of Summit County Ambulance Service and Summit Fire & EMS. Under such a scenario, Summit County would provide EMS system oversight and regulatory compliance rather than direct provision of ambulance service. An alternative option would maintain the current structure of EMS services among the two fire districts and Summit County Ambulance Service.

"This analysis gives us a good foundation that will inform our decision making as we move forward to do what's best for Summit County residents and visitors," Red, White & Blue Chief Jim Keating said.


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